Superhero Mom Gives Her Newborn CPR While in Labor With Triplets

Someone get this mom a cape.
ByAshley Edwards Walker
Contributing Writer
August 27, 2019
new mom touching her newborn's face
Image: Catherine Delahaye

Some superheroes fly. Others are super-duper fast. If you’re one mom from Saskatchewan, Canada, your superpower might be finding the strength to give one of your newborn triplets CPR while still in labor with the other two siblings.

Last month, Danielle Johnston had just dozed off after putting the youngest of her four kids to bed. She was 32 weeks pregnant with triplets but had showed no signs of early labor. Yet a little while later, she was awakened by contractions and a strong urge to push. “I woke up in horrendous pain,” Johnston told HuffPost Canada.

Since her husband Trevor was at work, their oldest son, 15-year-old Dillon, rushed to his mother’s side. When her pain worsened, Johnston instructed him to call an ambulance to take her to the hospital, but the family was told it would take 45 minutes to arrive. In the meantime, the babies decided not to wait.

Johnston went into labor and delivered the first baby, a girl named Karlee, by herself. Right away, she knew something was wrong. “I kind of had to pull her out of me, and when she came out she wasn’t breathing,” she explained.

Dillon helped his mom to the couch, where Johnston started performing CPR on Karlee as she continued to battle her contractions. Meanwhile, Dillon drove the family van to the end of the road to flag down the ambulance once it arrived.

“I just kept doing CPR on the baby and … meanwhile I have two more inside me and I’m fighting contractions,” Johnston said.

When Johnston’s husband Trevor returned from work, he was surprised to find his son sitting in the family car near the main road.

"He just kind of said ‘Mom had a baby and I have to wait for the ambulance,’” he told reporters.

When paramedics finally arrived, they took Johnston and Karlee to a nearby hospital. There, doctors discovered the other two babies were breech and performed a c-section to deliver both boys, named Jack and Liam. All three babies were eventually reunited in the NICU.

“It was kind of scary at first,” Johnston said. “They were all on oxygen and IVs. It was almost overwhelming. But the nurse said it’s day by day, and they’ll come off of all this. And she was absolutely right.”

Looking back, the new mom of seven insists her heroic actions were nothing more than a mother doing what needed to be done. “I don’t think you have any choice,” she said. “You just do it.”

Recently Karlee, Jack, and Liam were released from the NICU. “The babies are doing great right now,” Johnston told a local news outlet in Weyburn, Canada. “The boys are 6 pounds and the little girl is just shy of 6 pounds. They’re thriving.”

But sadly, they no longer have a home to come home to. While the family was visiting the newborns in the NICU, a fire broke out in their home. All of their specialty triplet gear—the triple stroller, swings and cribs, not to mention all of the family’s other belongings—was destroyed.

Fortunately, the Johnstons’ community has rallied around them. A GoFundMe has been set up to help the family get back on their feet. At press time, $73,736 of the $100,000 goal had been donated, along with clothing and other household items.

“Thank-you from the bottom of my heart, and Trevor’s too,” Johnston told the local reporter. “We’re just so grateful that we live where we live. Thank you so much.”

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