Loyalton resident and mother Rilla Valiente holds her newborn daughter, Jasmine, after giving birth at Eastern Plumas Health Care. Nurse Larissa Beddoc worked diligently to prepare the hospital for the unusual, but exciting, medical emergency. Photo courtesy Eastern Plumas Health Care
On the snowy night of Oct. 22 at 9:23 p.m., for the first time in a long time, the halls of Eastern Plumas Health Care echoed with the cries of a newborn baby.
Jasmine Lorraine Datema, born to parents Rilla Valiente and Michael Datema, will be a special name to the nurses and doctors at the hospital.
The 7-pound-3-ounce baby is one of five babies in three years delivered at the hospital, and the only one that was not transferred to another hospital after delivery.
Mother Rilla Valiente had planned to have her baby girl in Truckee, but she did not plan for the quick 2-1/2-hour labor and the snowstorm that would keep her off the windy roads and stuck at her home in Loyalton.
When the labor pains came, a friend of Valiente’s who was also an EMT in Denton came over and told her that they would need to call an ambulance. When she arrived at EPHC, she was ready to have her baby, whether the hospital had an OB unit or not.
“She was too close to delivery for us to safely transfer her,” said Director of Quality and Operations Teresa Whitfield. “She delivered within five minutes of the doctor arriving.”
“They didn’t even have diapers,” Michael Datema said. “Luckily, I’m a father so I brought some.”
The couple just recently moved to Loyalton from Placerville six months ago. Jasmine was Valiente’s second child, and there are five kids between the two.
“I feel really honored that she trusted us with her care,” Whitfield said. “I think they were glad for us to offer for her to stay. I got the sense that it was going to be a challenge or a hardship for them to travel all the way back and forth to Truckee.”
After falling off a roof and shattering both of his ankles, Datema has been disabled.
Six months ago the family was homeless on the streets in Placerville. After hearing that it would be easy to find an affordable place in this area they moved up here.
“I’m glad we’re here for people, that it doesn’t push them beyond their means to go somewhere else,” Whitfield said. “This was just one of those times.”
“They did a really good job at the hospital,” Datema said. “They took really good care of us.”
After an exciting night, the family is now getting situated back in Loyalton, and the hospital is enjoying the afterglow of a job well done.
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