Anastasia Skinner, a resident of Paradise, California, was one of many who were forced to evacuate their homes in November due to the raging wildfires. Skinner was pregnant and alone when she narrowly made it out of her home before it was overtaken by flames. Although she was able to make it to her vehicle, the stress of the situation sent her into premature labor. She knew she was in trouble when she found herself in a tight traffic jam full of panicked residents attempting to leave town. As she felt her contractions intensifying, all she could do was honk her horn and call for help, according to NBC News.
Skinner knew her life was in danger not only because of the unrelenting flames, but because of her high-risk pregnancy. She had endured several miscarriages before becoming pregnant and had an inherited disorder that made it particularly risky for her to carry a child. Trapped and not knowing if she’d make it out of the situation, she made a heartbreaking call to her husband.
“I called my husband and told him goodbye, tell all the kids I love them and make sure they remember me,” she said.
Mickey Huber was helping people evacuate from the terrifying wildfire that tore through the Northern California town of Paradise when he heard on the scanner about a pregnant woman going into premature labor. https://t.co/rwGcoqvTiA— Newsradio 1020 KDKA (@KDKARadio) December 22, 2018
Luckily, a nearby motorcyclist noticed Skinner and was able to flag down a police officer, who called for an emergency helicopter. Paramedic Micky Huber accessed her situation and quickly realized there wasn’t enough time to wait for a helicopter. He arranged for a three car caravan of police vehicles to transport her to an ambulance. He stayed with the distressed mother until she arrived at a hospital, trying to keep her calm.
“My goal was to keep her breathing and get her down the hill,” Huber said. “Two of my ambulance crews were trapped by the fire moments before I got to Anastasia so there was a lot of doubt, a lot of worry.”
Skinner later said that Huber saved her life; without his help she would have certainly gone into full blown labor.
“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. Because of Huber’s efforts, she was able to reach the hospital in time where her premature contractions were stopped. She later gave birth to a healthy baby girl. The child was named Zoele Mickey Skinner, in honor of the paramedic who saved her life.