A NEIGHBOUR became more than a good friend when she helped with a special delivery – a new baby girl.
Tracey Gilsenan was in bed when her neighbour Cheryl Corless rang her in the early hours of the morning to say she was in labour and needed help – just hours before she was due to deliver by Caesarian section.
Mum-of-five Tracey raced next door in Meadoway, Church, and promptly phoned an ambulance.
She found Cheryl, 36, at home with three of her seven children as her husband Anthony, 22, was out visiting family.
Her waters had broken and it was obvious the baby was on the way.
Tracey, also 36, said: "I stayed on the phone and the operator coached me through everything. I knew it wouldn’t be long.
"I wasn’t nervous and stayed calm. I just went with the flow. I think my adrenaline kicked in and my natural instincts just took over."
Within 10 minutes baby Kelsie Mary Louise was born at 4.25am on Sunday, weighing in at 7lb 9oz.
Full-time mum Tracey said: "It was amazing. She was absolutely beautiful. I couldn’t believe how fast it all happened but I am glad Kelsie was born happy and healthy."
Cheryl said: "I had a Caesarean section scheduled for Monday as the baby was breech but Tracey said she came out head first and was absolutely fine. I couldn’t believe it."
Paramedics arrived quickly and took Cheryl and baby Kelsie to the Royal Blackburn Hospital while Tracey stayed at Cheryl’s to look after the other children.
Cheryl said both she and proud dad Anthony couldn’t thank Tracey enough for her help, especially as Cheryl has had a history of quick births.
In 1996 she hit the headlines when she gave birth to her son Harry, now 12, inside a telephone box on Church Street, Church.
She said: "Harry’s birth was very quick but Kelsie’s was even more so. I was just thankful not be in the town centre this time.
"Harry and all my other children are thrilled about Kelsie."
They have five brothers and sisters – Daniel, 17, Sally, 13, Lewis, four, William, three, and Alfie, one.
Dad Anthony said: "I was staying at my mum’s because Kelsie was breech and the doctors said she wouldn’t turn around. I was buzzing when I got the call to say she had arrived."
The couple took Kelsie home on Wednesday and among their first visitors were Tracey and her children Tiffany, 16, Tanya, 15, Jodie, 13, Callum, six, and Lily Mae, two.
Anthony added: "We are very lucky to have a neighbour like Tracey.
Read about another extra-special delivery in next week’s Observer.