INDIANAPOLIS — The Cleveland Browns defeated the Colts 39-38 at Lucas Stadium in Indianapolis on Sunday and added a new fan to boot.
A baby born at the stadium shortly after the opening kickoff is related to Browns wide receiver David Bell, an Indianapolis native who played college football at Purdue University in Indiana, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported.
Bell’s mother, Kareem Butler, told WXIN-TV that her niece was not due for another four days, but went into labor as she was arriving at Lucas Oil Stadium.
There was no time to take the woman to an area hospital.
“She was due the 26th, but her mom went into labor as we were crossing the street,” Butler told the television station. “So, when they got here, they went to the first aid (station). By the time they got her back there, the baby was crowning and they delivered her here at the stadium at 1:20.”
Monica Brase, a public information and marketing manager at Lucas Oil Stadium, congratulated Bell’s relatives in a statement, WISH-TV reported.
“We extend our warmest congratulations and wishes for good health to the family,” Brase said. “We also want to express our gratitude to our partners at IU Health, they are consistently well-prepared for any medical situation at the Stadium and yesterday was no exception.”
“It’s a blessing,” Bell said, according to WXIN. “Her whole idea was to try to have the baby before the game, but you know it’s all in God’s time. So, now I have a new niece. So, hopefully I get to see her when I come back to the city.”
Ashley Vlaskamp, an advanced emergency medical technician whose team helped deliver the baby, said her staff usually handles about 12 first-aid cases during a football game at the stadium, but delivering a child was a new experience.
“It’s certainly not something you think is going to happen when you come into work that day,” Vlaskamp told WTTV. “A lot of times, we worry more about something like indigestion or a blister or somebody who is having a trip or a fall on the sidewalk more than somebody who is having a baby.”
Vlaskamp said her team met the challenge.
“Our team worked flawlessly together,” she told the television station. “I couldn’t be happier with what we did.”