Local non-profit employee helps a pregnant woman in distress deliver her newborn at Los Angeles County’s, Edmund D. Edelman Children’s Court, the morning of February 4, 2014.
“Crittenton Services for Children and Families (CSCF) is proud to have, Michele Fischer, on staff as a dedicated employee, who’s sincere sense of duty to help those in need is a trait that our agency appreciates and values,” said Martha Jasso, Director of Communications, CSCF.
For Fischer, a full-time Parent Partner, helping families in CSCF’s Wraparound Services Program cope and troubleshoot through life’s obstacles comes naturally.
So, when Fischer saw Kameeke Treece of North Hills, Calif. having painful contractions, Fischer’s instincts to help a family in crisis kicked into high gear.
“It was a once in a lifetime experience and felt fortunate to have had the courthouse officers at my side during the delivery process,” said Fischer and added, “Kameeke was incredibly brave and I also give tremendous credit to the officers as they showed incredible empathy to Kameeke and her newborn.”
The day started out like most other days for Fischer. She was in the field with her immediate supervisor and CSCF employee, Valerie Gutierrez, guiding a CSCF client through a family court proceeding at the Edmund D. Edelman Children’s Court in Monterey Park, Calif.
That is when Fischer noticed Treece and her two teenage sons, Bernabe Rojas who is 14 and Luis Rojas who is 13, in the courthouse lobby area in need of assistance. The family’s idea was to get to their car to drive to the hospital, but the baby had a different plan.
This is when Fisher decided that she needed to help, so Fischer briefly left her client with her supervisor to assist with the emergency.
“During the situation, I realized that I have an amazing person on my team that was not scared to take the initiative and help the mother and the child. Michele truly cares for those around her regardless of what others needs are. She will always do her best to assist to the best of her ability,” said Gutierrez.
Fischer noticed that no one else in immediate proximity knew what to do, so she stepped in, assessed the situation, and offered assistance to the mother.
“Helping comes as second nature to me. If I were in that situation I would have wanted someone to help me,” said Fischer.
Fischer is the mother of five, four are biological children and one is adoptive, so knows a thing or two about motherhood. Her main goal in this situation was to reassure Treece that everything was going to be okay and to make sure that the baby was safe until emergency personnel arrived.
With the assistance of a female courthouse officer Fischer helps Treece prepare for childbirth. In an effort to give the pregnant woman some privacy other courthouse officers step in and form a barrier around the women to shield the mother-to-be.
“It was a very quick delivery. The whole ordeal felt like it lasted less than five minutes, so fast in fact, that the mother did not have time to lie down. She delivered the baby standing up, supported by a chair, and stayed standing until the paramedics arrived about 10 minutes later,” said Fischer.
As the newborn was being birthed the concern was for the baby’s safe delivery. At the very moment when the baby came to the world both Fischer and the female officer were able to catch the child before falling to the floor. This was the first baby born in the Edmund D. Edelman Children’s Court history.
“Everyone was so professional. I felt comfortable with the help I received during my delivery at the court and thankful for everyone who helped out,” said Treece.
At approximately 10 a.m. the baby, Beya Mildred Ayon Treece at 39 weeks, was born. In quick unison Fischer handed the baby to the female officer to wrap in a blanket as Fischer carefully held the pulsating umbilical cord until help arrived. The mother mentioned to Fischer that this baby is her fourth child and all of her previous births had been quick.
“It was a packed courthouse. I would say at least 100 people were present and when the paramedics arrived it sounded like a rock concert. Cheering and clapping erupted from the crowd for both the mother and for those that helped during the birth,” said Fischer.
Paramedics took Treece and her new baby to a local hospital for further observation, and the emergency personnel mentioned to Fischer that she did the right thing by carefully holding the umbilical cord level and not letting it drop to the ground.
This kind of action oriented individual is quite normal to see amongst the agency’s employees. Fischer is a perfect example of a CSCF employee that leads from a sense of mission statement.
She has been employed with the agency for five years starting at the CSCF Residential Treatment Center specifically helping with the teenage mom and baby program for a year.
When the chance to apply to her current role opened up within the CSCF Wraparound Program, four years ago, she decided it was time for a transition.
“I loved the ideal of keeping a family together, and being a Parent Partner brings this opportunity into a daily reality,” said Fischer.
Prior to her career at CSCF Fischer taught childbirth classes for nearly 20 years. A lifetime of education and training that was put to good use.
Crittenton Services for Children and Families of Southern California (CSCF) is a non-profit social services agency whose mission is to heal the wounds of abuse and neglect; strengthen families; and help troubled adolescents reach their full potential. Established and incorporated in 1966 Crittenton has a highly trained workforce operating 24 hours a day / 7 days a week providing comprehensive counseling, medical, and other support services to the clients in our care. We provide a full array of residential, in-home, community based, wraparound, mental health, foster care, and adoption services with a service planning area throughout Southern California that covers Orange, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside and San Diego Counties.