Woman Gives Birth Aboard Amtrak Train

An Amtrak passenger gave birth to a son as a Missouri River Runner train neared the Warrensburg, Mo., station.

Timothy Ryan Whittington Jr. was born about six weeks early in a restroom aboard Amtrak No. 313 at 8:15 p.m. as the train approached the Warrensburg depot.

Jessika Ross, her boyfriend, Timothy Whittington, and her 2-year-old daughter had boarded the train in St. Louis on the first leg of a return to their home in Marysville, Calif., near Sacramento. Her contractions started about 9 a.m. and continued as she rode the train, Ross said.

Her water broke on her third trip to the bathroom. “I knew the baby was coming,” Ross told a Warrensburg newspaper. “It took six minutes and four pushes” to deliver him, Ross said.

His arrival coincided with the train’s arrival at the depot.

The baby’s due date had been in December.

Ross said another passenger got her boyfriend to come from his seat. Another passenger, nurse, April Eads, “came running up with a brand new blanket.” Eads wrapped and handed the baby to Whittington.

An ambulance and a police officer were at the depot when the train came to a stop. Ross and the baby rode to Western Missouri Medical Center in separate ambulances. Her boyfriend and daughter rode with the police officer to the hospital.

A helicopter ambulance picked up Timothy at the hospital and took him to Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City.

Ross spent the night at Western Missouri Medical Center, which gave her a voucher the next day for a cab ride to Children’s Mercy to be reunited with Timothy.

Her boyfriend and daughter received a voucher for a cab ride back to the depot to continue their trip to California.

After spending two and a half weeks at the Ronald McDonald House, Ross said she expected word soon on whether Timothy could be transported by medical helicopter to California.

“He’s doing really good,” Ross said.

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