NEAR blizzard conditions and a quick labour led to a baby born at Falls Creek Medical Centre, believed to be the clinic’s first birth since it opened in 1972.
Sawitta and Titus Gius welcomed little Felix into their lives at 11.35pm Monday, to the excitement of his big sister Mali, 3.
The Gius family spends winters at Falls Creek, where Mr Gius is snowsports director.
Due on August 4 and planning to give birth at Wodonga hospital, Mrs Gius realised Monday evening her baby had other ideas.
“Her labour started there and then and it was only for one hour,” Mr Gius said.
“By the time we got organised there was not much of an option to go anywhere but to the medical centre.
“We called the ambulance but then at the same time we were able to go to the medical centre ourselves with the help of a friend.”
At the centre, doctors Angela Stratton and Anoop Pem, along with ambulance driver David Ferris, dealt with the unexpected situation.
“It was very busy, very rushed, but we managed to stay pretty calm,” Dr Stratton said.
“I guess it was very exciting, the first ever baby born at Falls Creek Medical Centre.”
Earlier this month Melbourne woman Natasha Warlond gave birth to her third child at Mount Hotham after she went into labour during a family holiday at Dinner Plain.
Mr Gius said he and his wife had not been too worried on Monday.
“We were both very happy,” he said.
“It was all good, we were in very, very safe hands.”
Mrs Gius had been seeing Dr Stratton for the last few months of her pregnancy.
“We felt really quite comfortable, no problem whatsoever,” her husband said.
“I wanted to say a very big thank-you to the Falls Creek centre people, in particular Dr Angela Stratton, she was absolutely fabulous.”
Felix’s birth, 10 minutes after his parents arrived at the clinic, went smoothly, with mother and baby both well and transferred to Wodonga within a few hours.
“I’m one of the GP obstetricians who works at Wodonga hospital, so it was kind of lucky that I happened to be on roster up here,” Dr Stratton said.
Also fortunate was the presence of the right equipment, given the centre’s usual trade.
“We normally would treat ski accidents, so broken wrists and legs and head injuries, plus general practice coughs and colds,” she said.
“We actually had arranged for the first time this year an emergency birthing kit to have at the centre and it was very ironic that we needed to use it the first year.
“We’ve restocked it this morning.”