Montana woman gives birth to ‘miracle’ baby in Utah ambulance

GARLAND, Utah — A couple who was told their baby wasn't expected to live, and if he did, he would have complications.The couple decided to drive from their home in Montana here to the University of Utah where medical specialists could take care of the baby after he was born.

Not only did this baby live, he came on the drive to Utah.

Larissa McCollum holds her newborn baby, Able, and said he's a miracle. McCollum's water broke 15 weeks into her pregnancy and her Montana doctors told her the baby's likelihood of survival was very low.

"He has a 5% chance of ever being discharged from a hospital and with that we expect very many complications, developmental delays, physical complications, all kinds of things," McCollum explains what her doctors said.

McCollum said the hospital in Montana explained if the baby boy's birth was successful, they weren't equipped to help him through the rest of his complications.

Monitoring her fluid levels, the doctors agreed McCollum and her husband should travel to Utah where her baby could be born at a Trauma One center.

As the couple began the eight hour drive to Utah, McCollum said she started having contractions but wasn't too worried she would be in labor before they reached the hospital.

But just as they crossed the Idaho border into Utah, her water broke.

"I was just worried that we were going to lose baby because it looked like we were out in the middle of nowhere and we pretty much were," McCollum said.

Pulling over, McCollum's husband called 911.

On the other end of the call, Garland City Police Chief Chad Soffe said he responded immediately.

"My first thought as I was driving there was, I'm going to be the first one there," Chief Soffe said. "So I'm thinking, where are my gloves, you know what do I do?"

Within minutes, McCollum was in an ambulance and Baby Able didn't wait much longer to make his arrival.

"I ended up having him in the ambulance," McCollum smiled as she held Able. "They said it was on the off ramp, on the exit on the way to the hospital."

Doctor Todd Miller, who was awaiting her arrival at the Bear River Health Hospital said the baby was born 30 to 60 seconds away from the hospital.

"Everybody was kind of on high alert getting ready for this unexpected delivery," Dr. Miller said. "We were fortunate to be here to help for a little bit and to see a happy ending."

Dr. Miller said the complications the Montana doctors had been expecting, never made manifest and that McCollum and baby Able were able to go home to Montana within three days of his birth.

"This is a miracle," McCullom said. "Science doesn't explain this happening, this is just so special."