Baby on Board! Boy born on London-bound National Express coach
20 July 2023 9:00 AM
An unexpected arrival of precious cargo brought delight to a coach driver working his regular route.
Tony Boswell was driving the National Express 401 service from Swindon to London Victoria on 24 May when a passenger had a surprise delivery.
Adepeju Opayemi was on her way to visit her aunt in London when she started having labour pains as the coach was approaching its scheduled stop at Heathrow Airport. As it became apparent that her baby was simply not going to wait much longer, she cried for help and passengers raised the alarm with the driver, who sprung into action and called for assistance.
It came as a complete surprise to everyone on board to find that within minutes of paramedics arriving, she had given birth to a beautiful baby boy. Mrs Opayemi said: “I just thought to myself this cannot be happening. The driver was absolutely amazing and kept reassuring me, he even went as far as getting a first-aider from the airport to assist while we were waiting for the paramedics. It was a surreal but very good experience I must say, I had people around me offering their support and words of encouragement.
“One particular passenger who sat in front of me was a great help. I can’t recall her name, but I believe she is a nurse and was travelling with her two children. She kept me calm and stayed with me until the paramedics arrived. She even gave me her sweater to use as a pillow and I hope we can be reunited so I can personally thank her - and return her sweater.
“Afterwards I even got a call from National Express asking how the baby and I were doing which was really lovely. I’m so grateful Samuel arrived safely.”
The driver of the coach, Tony Boswell, said: “My passengers are more important to me than anything else, once they get on board they are my first priority. It was such a heartwarming moment and I’m very grateful I was able to be a part of it. It was a team effort, with a wonderful nurse stepping up and the staff at Heathrow doing an amazing job. The other passengers were completely bemused by the whole thing, it’s not often I can say that I helped deliver a baby on a coach!”
Tony, from Melksham, Wiltshire has been driving for National Express for seven years. He added: “It was so lovely to be reunited with the family and to have a cuddle with baby Samuel. I wouldn’t have missed it for the world, this will stay with me for a very long time.”
Ed Rickard, Service Delivery Director at National Express, said, "We are immensely proud of Tony for his exceptional response in this situation. His professionalism, calmness and compassion is a testament to our unwavering commitment to passenger safety and well-being. We are delighted to welcome the newest member to the National Express family and everyone here extends their warmest congratulations to Mr and Mrs Opayemi.”