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Special Delivery : Deputy Goes Beyond Call of Duty When Baby Is Born at Jail

October 21, 1994|MARK I. PINSKY | TIMES STAFF WRITER

SANTA ANA — When Sheriff's Deputy Kirstin Goins heard a pregnant inmate screaming in her cell at the Central Women's Jail early Thursday, she knew something was terribly wrong.

Authorities said Allison Urey, 25, had been examined by the jail's medical staff on Tuesday and told that her pregnancy, at seven months, was progressing normally. But it didn't sound normal to the deputy.

"She was screaming; you wouldn't believe how loud she was screaming," said Goins, 29. "She looked so scared."

Goins and Deputy Kelly Rodriguez lifted Urey into a wheelchair and took her to the medical floor. As a nurse pulled Urey's file, which indicated that she was not due to deliver for another two months, there was another cry.

"She let out one big scream," said Goins, who then discovered that the baby was rapidly en route. "The baby was real small, so I caught it. It came out real fast. She was still in the wheelchair."

Goins, a five-year veteran with the Sheriff's Department, said that she had received some nursing training while attending Valparaiso University in Indiana and last month had received in-service training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation and first aid, so she knew what to do.

"The baby was blue--no movement, non-responsive, no breathing," she said.

While nurse Judy Hanson tried to stimulate the infant boy's breathing, Goins rubbed his feet to stimulate circulation.

After a few moments of frantic efforts, there was a sound from the baby.

"It was like the angels were singing, that first cry," Goins said.

The infant, weighing 2 pounds, 14 ounces, was taken to the intensive care unit of Western Medical Center-Santa Ana, where he was in stable condition. His mother was also in stable condition at the same hospital.

Urey, who was arrested by Newport Beach police on suspicion of grand theft, is scheduled to be released from jail on Nov. 29, according to Sheriff's Lt. Dan Martini.

Authorities said they believe Urey went into labor Wednesday but did not tell deputies.

Goins said she was especially grateful for her recent first-aid training, which she said prepared her for just such an emergency.

"You know it could happen; you just don't know when," Goins said. "The possibility is always there, but you say, 'Oh, it won't happen to me,' but it does. All your training comes back to you. You react to the situation, and it comes back to you. It's very emotional. . . . Thank God I just had it."

At almost the same time the baby was born at the Central Women's Jail, an inmate at the Central Men's Jail was pronounced dead at Western Medical Center-Santa Ana. The man, who has not been identified, was discovered unconscious in a housing area restroom about 10 p.m. Wednesday, according to Martini. He died later at the hospital.

Martini said heart failure is suspected, but an autopsy has been scheduled to determine the exact cause of death.

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