PM’s praise as midwife helps cyclone baby

Theresa Paddon with her two children, Lee, 18 months, and Darren, three, at their home in Leigh Park

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A WOMAN has been hailed a heroine for delivering a baby while caught up in cyclone Yasi in Australia.

Midwife Carol Weeks and her husband Andrew were on holiday celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary when they had to seek emergency shelter from the devastating storm.

They were at Redlynch State College in Cairns, Queensland, when Mrs Weeks was called on after Akiko Pruss’ water’s broke a day early.

The 46-year-old mum-of-two – who owned a home in Heritage Way, Gosport, until recently and whose mum Christine Berridge lives in Bell Lane, Stubbington – leapt into action to deliver baby Lucia just over three hours later at 6am local time on Thursday.

Mrs Weeks has since been hailed a heroine by Queensland Premier Anna Bligh.

The country’s Prime Minister Julia Gillard said Australians ‘will have been gladdened at heart’ at news of the birth.

Daughter Emma, 22, told The News: ‘The woman’s waters had broken and they called out for anyone who could help. My mum said “I’m a midwife so I might as well deliver it”.

‘I’m proud of her. I can’t believe it, but I didn’t expect any less of her. If something needs doing she will just do it, whatever the situation.

‘I was very worried and upset about them initially, but when I heard she had delivered a baby I knew I didn’t have to worry as much – she was right at home.

‘She loves helping people. I hope now they can enjoy the rest of their holiday.’

In an interview with Channel Nine TV in Australia Mrs Weeks, who had been planning the trip with her 47-year-old husband for two years, said: ‘It was absolutely perfect delivery. The baby is doing great. She’s breastfeeding and mum’s wonderful.’

Cyclone Yasi ripped through the north-east coast of Australia with winds of up to 186mph since it reached land.