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Published April 05, 2013, 06:54 PM

A promising future for newborn, despite a shaky start

A Thief River Falls mom gave birth at a mere 28 weeks during one of the Monday blizzards in March. The commute from Grand Forks to Thief River, which normally takes less than an hour, took three hours on March 18th.

A Thief River Falls mom gave birth at a mere 28 weeks during one of the Monday blizzards in March. The commute from Grand Forks to Thief River, which normally takes less than an hour, took three hours on March 18th.

It seems like the family had all odds against them. Delivering just a week into the 3rd trimester, and during horrible weather conditions. But, quick response from Altru paramedics and an NICU team likely saved the baby's life.

Amber Julius first noticed something was wrong at about 8:30 that morning.

Amber: "I just thought they were little cramps.."

Six hours later, there was no stopping labor -- Amber was eight centimeters dilated.

Amber: "It was very scary to me to know that my little baby was going to be coming, he wasn't ready and just to be worried about him if he was going to be safe and if he was going to be ok."

That's when Altru paramedics and the NICU transport team got the call to make the drive, toughing white-out conditions the entire way...

Melissa Gilmore, transport nurse: "We knew that we had to get there as fast and as safely as possible."

It took the ambulance three hours to arrive. Amber gave birth in Thief River to a boy, Camden Charles Julius. Amber and Tim say nothing could've brought more comfort that day than the sound of his cry. Doctors stabilized Camden with a breathing tube and quickly whisked the two pound newborn away with a snow plow leading the way. Paramedics made it to Grand Forks safely.

Gilmore: "Mom just actually gave me a hug earlier today so that was really nice and thanking me for being there but it was a good feeling to know that the baby did so well."

Camden is still very small -- under three pounds. Doctors are slowly trying to wean him off oxygen. He will spend at least six more weeks in the NICU.

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