The birth of a new baby is an exciting time. Many expectant mothers begin to long for the day that their new child will be welcomed into the world.
But for one Skowhegan, Maine, mother-to-be, that day would never come.
Desiree Strout, 27 and mother of two, anticipated the birth of her third child. At nine months pregnant, she was ready to be medically induced.
But tragedy struck as she was driving herself to the hospital. With husband, Harry Weeks, and 8-year-old daughter in the vehicle, no one knew the danger that lay ahead.
As the 2005 Chevrolet Trailblazer drove down the cold road, it hit a patch of black ice and began to swerve out of control. The SUV swerved, hit a snow bank, and rolled over onto a frozen pond.
The vehicle was discovered lying on its side, on the ice, just five miles from the hospital.
Officer David Bucknam stated “it was not speed,” that caused the accident. “She just hit the black ice and lost control.”
One of Strout’s relatives, Travis Weston, said the truck was like “her baby, and she wouldn’t have let anyone drive it unless she had to.”
“Desiree was fiercely independent,” Weston said. That explains why a woman about to give birth was driving rather than her husband.
All were taken to the hospital, where Desiree was pronounced dead. But there was still another life to save — that of her unborn baby.
Doctors preformed an emergency c-section to save the unborn baby’s life. The family named the little survivor Gage.
He was in critical condition at Edington-Fairview General Hospital in Skowhegan and later transported to Eastern Maine Medical Center.
Desiree’s husband, Harry, suffered a punctured lung and a laceration to his liver in the accident. The daughter’s conditions had not been reported.
The death of Desiree is hitting the community hard. “It’s a tragic event,” said Bucknam. The close knit community rallied around the family.
Collections and fundraisers were being held all over the community, as well as in neighboring towns. Everyone wants to lend a helping hand.
Little Gage and his family will be surrounded by support. In the face of the loss of one life, another was born thanks to the quick response of the doctors.
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