Woman Names Baby After Medic Who Rescued Her During California Wildfire

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A woman who went into premature labor during the California wildfires has named her baby after the medic who saved her life, Fox News is reporting. Mickey Huber was helping people evacuate on November 8 after a fire descended upon the town of Paradise, California. Meanwhile, Anastasia Skinner was attempting to escape the flames with her mother and two dogs when she began to experience contractions. A traffic jam had formed as residents drove away in a panic. Flames had reached Skinner’s car, and she managed to pull into a gas station and begin honking her horn and screaming for help.

“I knew I wasn’t going to make it,” Skinner recalled. “I called my husband and told him goodbye, tell all the kids I love them and make sure they remember me.”

Fortunately, a passing motorcyclist came to Skinner’s aid and was able to flag down a police officer. The officer was able to get Skinner moved to the back of her Honda Pilot, while several passersby who were also stuck in the traffic jam provided Skinner with blankets. A retired fire chief was also volunteering their services, and a helicopter was ordered to airlift Skinner to a hospital. Huber, the assistant chief of operations for Butte County Emergency Services, tried to get to Skinner as fast as he could. This was easier said than done because even though he was only two miles away, it took him a full 30 minutes to make his way through the traffic jam.

“The smoke was thick, and the winds were blowing. The helicopters were having a hard time fighting the fire let alone airlifting patients,” Huber detailed.

Skinner was already a high-risk pregnancy, having experienced two miscarriages and other complications in the past, stemming from an inherited disorder. Huber believes that if she went into full-blown labor, she might not have survived the ordeal. Knowing the helicopter would struggle to make it to her in time, Huber organized a caravan with three police vehicles to transport her to the hospital. As they waited, Huber did his best to comfort Skinner.

“He was sweet. He told me, ‘I’m a guy. I don’t know what this feels like for you, but I’ll try to help you get you through it,’ ” Skinner said. “Then he would yell at people outside of the car, waving his hat and telling them to get out of the way.”

A doctor later deduced that the smoke inhalation and panic triggered the early contractions. Fortunately, Skinner never went into full-blown labor, and she was able to give birth on December 12, a full month after the incident. Skinner’s new daughter is named Zoele Mickey Skinner — her middle name coming from Huber. Though Skinner ended up losing her home in the fire, she and her baby are healthy.

“We can replace all the stuff in our house, but we can’t replace each other,” said Skinner.