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Trucker Michael Hawthorne's first thought when a stranger on the highway screamed that his wife was in labor was "Oh no, not again!" According to The Daily Journal, for the third time during his 20 years of service driving NFI trucks, Hawthorne pulled over and delivered a baby on March 27th.
Hawthorne grew up watching his mother and grandmother, both midwives, deliver babies, The Daily Journal reports. And while, he didn't deliver any of his own three children, he used his skills for the first time in 1999 when he heard honking at a truck stop in California. Though it was his first delivery, Hawthorne tried to keep calm while comforting mom, too -– dad passed out in the backseat and police showed up after the baby was born.
After that experience, Hawthorne decided he would be more prepared in case there was a next time. He "assembled a birthing kit for just such emergencies. It has alcohol, water, cotton swabs, latex gloves and a suction device, as well as scissors to cut the umbilical cord and shoelaces to tie it,” The Daily Journal reports.
And, sure enough, the time came. In 2010, Hawthorne stopped under a roadway bridge in Baltimore to deliver a baby girl.
Most recently, in Dallas, Hawthorne helped deliver a healthy baby boy, NBC reports. "I had the gloves on and I tried to have the mom relax," he said. Later, the family wrote a letter to NFI to thank him.
Over the past two decades, Hawthorne has earned two highway angel awards from the Truckload Carriers Association. However, only one of those was for delivering a child. He received a second medal for rescuing a baby that was stuck inside a car seat because of a tornado.
His acts of heroism don't stop there. "I pulled over to help a senior citizen change his tire… He collapsed into my arms with a heart attack so I gave him CPR. I helped a young man riding a bicycle, he collapsed of a heat stroke. I put ice packs out of my lunch box on his neck."
But Hawthorne tells NBC that he doesn't consider himself a hero. "I'm just glad to be there in a time of need for somebody," he said.
Somebody, get this man a cape.