MOWEAQUA - Two Casey's General Store employees helped save the day for one Pana woman who began giving birth inside the store early Monday morning.
Ashton Seaton traveling with her family to a local hospital to deliver the baby when Ashton requested they make a stop at the Casey's in Moweaqua. Shortly after arriving at the store, Ashton started to have the baby inside of the facility's bathroom.
Casey's General Store Manager Tonya Smith was notified of the situation by a member of Ashton's family, and stepped into action. Smith says she notified another employee, Shannon Blackwell, and called 911. Blackwell says she gathered some towels, and both women made their way to the bathroom to try and help Ashton and the baby.
Smith says she tried to keep the mother calm, and reminded her to perform breathing techniques. Blackwell said, "At first, we told her to stop pushing until the ambulance arrived." However, the ambulance was still minutes away, and when she noticed that a portion of the baby's head was beginning to turn blue in color, Blackwell says she knew the baby needed to be delivered as soon as possible.
After checking for any obstruction of the baby's airway, Blackwell says she helped deliver the baby. When asked about her emotions during the event, Blackwell says that she was "excited to deliver the baby at first," and that she was "nervous" as well.
Medical personnel arrived on scene about 10 minutes later, transporting Ashton and the newborn baby girl, named Mia, to a local hospital. Mia and Ashton were released from the hospital Wednesday afternoon, and were reunited with the women who helped deliver her child later that day.
Ashton's boyfriend, Brad Bennett, says he's "happy that they (Ashton and Mia) are safe and sound." The parents have also marked "Casey's General Store" as Mia's place of birth on a birth certificate form.
Smith says this birth is the only one to have taken place at any Casey's General Store in the nation. When reflecting on the situation, Smith quipped, "We don't deliver pizzas (at this location,) we just deliver babies."