911 call taker helps Arcadia family deliver baby in their car

What started as a call to 911, ended with the birth of Sandra Castaneda’s baby boy.

“It got pretty intense quite quickly. I just told them they had to pull over and to call 911,” said Castaneda.

Ready or not, baby Anthony made his way into the world on Sept. 29 near the corner of Olean Boulevard and Jamaica Street; just two miles away from Bayfront Health in Port Charlotte.

Castaneda’s sister Michelle Romann helped with the delivery in the passenger seat.

“It was a great experience, but I definitely have a lot of respect for people who do that,” said Romann.

Her daughter, Denise Musselwhite, followed directions from the 911 call taker.

“I had no clue what to do and she was there to tell me get something to tie the cord and all that,” said Musselwhite.

On Friday, just 12 days after Anthony entered the world, Castaneda and her family got to meet Ayana Hodges: the call taker who helped walk her family through Anthony’s birth.

Sandra Castaneda hugs 911 call taker who helped deliver her baby, Ayana Hodges (WINK News)

“My heart was all really warm, I was really excited,” said Hodges. “I’m glad the outcome turned out good and the mother and the baby are doing well.”

Grateful for a safe birth and a story to tell for generations.

Charlotte County Public Safety says this is the fourth time this year a call taker helped a mom delivery a baby before EMS arrived.

Hodges took two of those calls.

Anthony’s family says they’re keeping a copy of the 911 call for him to listen to when he’s older.

Reporter:Erika Jackson
Writer:Briana Harvath
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