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The BIG Drive Home

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Baby born in Grimsby Premier Inn car park after parents sent home from hospital in snow

Written by on 15 February 2021

A baby boy was born in a hotel car park after his parents were sent home from hospital in snowy weather.

Charlie Smith was born in an ambulance outside the Premier Inn Grimsby after his parents, Harriet Hanson and Adam Smith, checked in to the hotel rather than make the 45-minute journey home to Skegness, in Lincolnshire, in freezing conditions.

The couple said they believe the decision not to return home that night was “critical” to the safe arrival of their first-born child, who they have nicknamed “Car Park Charlie”.

Charlie Smith was born in an ambulance outside the Premier Inn Grimsby after his parents, Harriet Hanson and Adam Smith, checked in to the hotel rather than make the 45-minute journey home to Skegness, in Lincolnshire, in freezing conditions. Pic: Premier Inn Image: Despite his unconventional entrance into the world, Charlie weighed in at a healthy 8lb 3.5oz Pic: Premier Inn

Ms Hanson, 25, attended hospital in Grimsby, North East Lincolnshire, on 7 February after she began experiencing contractions but was told she still had a way to go and was advised to return when she was in established labour.

With heavy snow falls settling on the roads, the couple made the decision to stay close to the hospital and called the Premier Inn, where night team staff member Mike Krofchak confirmed they could stay.

When Ms Hanson’s waters broke, Mr Krofchak helped the couple by calling 999 – but the group was warned they may need to prepare to deliver the baby themselves.

Thankfully, paramedics arrived in time and baby Charlie was delivered at 12.29am in the waiting ambulance.

A Premier Inn spokeswoman said baby Charlie was believed to be the hotel chain’s youngest-ever guest and they are looking forward to welcoming the family back with a complimentary stay to show him where he made his surprise entry into the world.

Premier Inn Grimsby. Photo: Premier Inn Image: Premier Inn Grimsby: “Charlie is definitely our most unexpected guest.” Photo: Premier Inn

Ms Hanson and Mr Smith, 28, said: “We are so grateful for the care and kindness shown by the team at Premier Inn, especially by Mike, during our time of need.

“The three decisions we made that night – follow our instincts and not return home to Skegness, find somewhere local to stay, and finally choosing the Premier Inn – were, we believe, critical in ensuring the safe arrival of baby Charlie.

“To say you were born in the car park of hotel is certainly a story you will never forgot – we have even affectionately nicknamed him Car Park Charlie.”

Mr Krofchak said: “We welcome guests from all walks of life but baby Charlie is definitely the most unexpected.

“It is a real privilege to know I helped in some small way with the safe arrival.”

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