A New Jersey police officer responding to a call for a sick pregnant woman wound up delivering her baby Sunday, and the family is honoring the officer by naming the child after him.
Cranford Police Officer Nelson Hearns responded to a James Avenue home Sunday morning to assist an ill pregnant woman, the family said.
By the time he arrived, 31-year-old Jody Copier was in labor.
Copier says she felt "just pain."
"I was so early, I didn't think I was going to deliver a baby," she said at the hospital Tuesday.
Hearns, who has more than 11 years of patrol experience, saw that the baby's feet were coming first in a breech birth, presenting potential delivery hazards. He jumped into action, according to Copier's husband, Scott Kraft.
"Our savior ran right up, and he told me what to do," said Kraft.
The officer positioned and reassured Copier, and even grabbed a pillow and several towels to make sure she was comfortable. Within seconds, the baby was delivered.
"He sat right on the floor, and we started crying," said Kraft. "He had his eyes open, he was blinking."
"I would never have expected to bring my little boy into my living room," he said. "For being here so early, and breeched birth, I just can't believe how strong and perfect this kid is."
Emergency medical technicians arrived within moments of the birth and transported the family to Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston.
The boy, weighing 4 pounds 1 ounce, was named Kase Nelson Kraft, the middle name in honor of the officer who delivered him.
"He deserves it, without a doubt," said Kraft.
Copier added, "I don't know what we would have done if [Hearns] didn't get there so quick."
The baby is fine and "making a lot of progress," his mother said.
"He had a grand entrance, for sure," she said.
Hearns was scheduled to meet the family at the hospital Tuesday but was pulled away at the last minute due to a family obligation, the police department said. But Kraft says he can't thank the officer enough.
"He brought my new best friend into this world, and he is gonna be with me forever," he said.