Vicar delivers his baby son whilst driving

Wed 09 Oct 2019
By Heather Preston

A Brighton vicar has delivered his baby whilst driving to the hospital.

Rev Keir Shreeves, who is an associate vicar of St. Peter's church caught his son one-handed after his wife Jessamy went into labour in the passenger seat.

The pair were travelling from their home in Handcross near Crawley to the Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath when baby Orlando was born en route.

The Shreeves were taken by surprise by the sudden appearance of their third child, despite him being two weeks overdue.


"He was keeping us waiting," Rev Shreeves told Premier, "then one evening, about seven o'clock Jessamy's contractions started."

The couple set off on the 20 minute drive to the hospital after Mrs Shreeves' contractions intensified.

"We thought we'd have plenty of time," Keir said, "and then Jessamy's waters broke just as we were getting into the car."

Rev Shreeves attempted to call for help as he drove to the hospital but lost phone signal and decided to take a detour towards a near-by family member's house.

Before they could arrive, Jessamy gave birth to baby Orlando on the passenger seat.

Rev Shreeves described how he acted on impulse: "I'm driving along, I've got my right hand on the steering wheel, I look to my left, I see baby Orlando's head come out and then a couple of seconds later, the whole of the baby come out. So I just put my left hand out and grabbed him and then lowered him on to the seat."

Mrs Shreeves had to unhook the umbilical cord from around the baby's neck and then started breastfeeding the 9lb baby.

"We looked at each other and thought, Gosh, I think it's all okay," Shreeves said.

The three travelled to Jessamy's parents' house where three members of an ambulance team checked both the mother and baby before taking them to the Princess Royal for tests after Keir cut the umbilical cord.

Jessamy and Orlando Shreeves are now safely back home and doing well.

Jessamy told Premier she felt the presence of God with her throughout the dramatic birth:

"A lot of people said, 'were you really scared?' and I think the midwives were certainly worried we'd be quite traumatised when the ambulance crew bought us in and explained what happened.

"But we felt God's presence the whole way through."

Speaking in light of Baby Loss Awareness Week, which started on Wednesday, Jessamy who has suffered a number of miscarriages in the past said she was thankful to God for every contraction.

"We just feel incredibly grateful to God for our gorgeous family," she said.

"There are loads of people who would love to have a family and for whom it's not been that easy a journey and we just really feel for those people and are praying for those people."

If you or someone you know has suffered the loss of a baby Saying Goodbye Charity can offer support at


Stay up to date with the latest news stories from a Christian perspective. Sign up to our daily newsletter and receive more stories like this straight to your inbox every morning.

Daily news direct to your inbox
Your News Feed

Stay informed and inform others with up to the minute news from a Christian perspective. 

Daily News email

RSS feeds

News Widgets

You may also like...

Perhaps you’re jetting off to warmer climes this summer and can’t... More

More than half a million children in the UK were not vaccinated... More

The origins of Mother’s Day are believed to date back to the... More

Sometimes we can be completely surrounded by people but still... More