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The Brett and Samantha Hockenbrock family received a late Marshall County Healthcare Center on Dec. 28. Pictured with the Christmas present this year when Shelbee was delivered at the family are proud sisters Natylee, 18 months, and Delilah, age 5.

Hospital Delivers Late Present

Brett and Samantha Hockenbrock of Britton received a late Christmas present last week in a very unexpected way.

Shelbee MayLynne Hockenbrock wasn’t due until yesterday, Jan. 7, but the seven pound, one ounce little girl decided she would make her appearance early. So early, in fact, that there wasn’t time to get to Aberdeen for the delivery a week ago Saturday, Dec. 28.

That created another unexpected event – a rare birth at the Marshall County Healthcare Center. The hospital quit delivering babies in December of 1986, although one baby was born there in 1998 and another was thought to be delivered about 15 years ago.

“I had just been to the doctor in Aberdeen for my 38-week appointment on Dec. 24, and they didn’t think I was going to have her anytime soon,” said Samantha. “But on Saturday my water broke between 5-5:30 p.m., and I just knew there was no way we were going to make it to Aberdeen with the bad weather. I was bound and determined that she was going to be born at home.”

Brett is a certified EMT and had gone through training that covered emergency deliveries.

“I was confident that I could do it, but we called Lori Amerman and asked her if she could help deliver a baby,” recalled Brett. “She thought we should go into Britton to the hospital.”

The Hockenbrocks took that advice and made the fivemile trip into town, arriving at the hospital about 8:30 p.m. Shelbee was born at 9:26 p.m.

Marshall County Healthcare personnel quickly mobilized for something that is not generally in their job description.

“I am so proud of the excellent response to assist this family in the delivery of their baby when the weather didn’t allow for safe transfer,” said Director of Nursing Toni Mattson. “We had a great team assembled with two medical providers, lab, three RN’s and our aide. Additionally we used EEmergency (through Avera in Sioux Falls) to assist as needed with a physician and additional nursing support staff. Even though we do not specialize in labor and delivery, our team did an exceptional job with the resources we had in this emergency.”

“Shelbee was actually born with the umbilical cord around her neck, but the hospital staff had things under control. They knew exactly what to do and took care of it,” said Brett.

The family had nothing but good things to say about how the Marshall County Healthcare Center responded.

“We’re so thankful for the Marshall County Healthcare team for all they did for us,” said the Hockenbrocks. “They did a great job.”

Shelbee joined two sisters – Delilah, age 5, and Natylee, 18 months.

“When she gets old enough to understand we will tell her that she was definitely a very big surprise to everybody,” said Samantha.

Dec. 28 is also special for another reason. Richard Gage, Samantha’s grandfather who served as postmaster in Hecla before moving to Washington, passed away earlier this year. Shelbee was born on his birthday.

Marshall County Journal

PO Box 69, Britton, SD 57430
Phone: (605) 448-2281
Fax: (605) 448-2282