Florence brings evacuees, new arrival to local hospital

AKRON -- A Florence evacuee has quite a tale to tell as her family's evacuation from the coast brings a new arrival to a local area hospital.

Theresa Thomas was supposed to be induced Friday in North Carolina, but Tropical Storm Florence had other plans.

“Our original plan was to move back to Ohio at the end of the month after the baby was born, but because of the hurricane, it happened a little quicker,” said Theresa.

That’s because Theresa and her family were evacuated from their home in Emerald Isle, North Carolina.

“To be honest, I said, I don’t care, I just want him out.  I am staying.  But my husband was freaking out,” said Theresa.

So, they packed up and took off Tuesday for the 10-hour trip.

Theresa drove the family van while her husband Jeff drove the U-Haul.

But about halfway through, she started bleeding so they stopped at a hospital in Virginia.

“They told me because I was 39 weeks, they didn’t want to do anything to help me along.  I could stay, but they weren’t going to do anything,” said Theresa.

So, they got back on the road.  But it wasn’t long before Theresa went into labor.

“I was having contractions every three to five minutes all the way up here and I was in labor the whole time.  I had to stop a couple extra times because of the pain; the back labor was pretty bad,” said Theresa.

“I’ve never met a woman like her. I knew she was in extreme pain and she didn’t want to stop.  Even to go to the bathroom and stuff, she just wanted to get here,” said Jeff.

They arrived in Akron at 8:30 Wednesday night, dropped their other kids off at the in-laws, and rushed to Akron General where she delivered a healthy baby boy named Josiah William Thomas just three hours later.

“I walked out; they gave her an epidural, and then they came screaming for me.  I went back in and she was giving birth.  It was meant to be,” said Jeff.

“I’m glad he has a wonderful birth story that will stick with him for the rest of his life,” said Theresa.

Theresa and Jeff evacuated with their four other kids.  They are looking forward to all spending time together.

Continuing coverage.