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Marine's wife gives birth in helicopter

Aug. 23, 2013 - 06:00AM   |  
Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Josh Clinard and his wife, Lisa, are seen with their then-two-week-old daughter, Courtney Rose.
Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Josh Clinard and his wife, Lisa, are seen with their then-two-week-old daughter, Courtney Rose. (Crystal Chatham / The Desert Sun)
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PALM SPRINGS — Lisa Clinard of Twentynine Palms was expecting her baby to be delivered in the hospital on Sept. 5, but Courtney Rose, her 5-pound, 2-ounce daughter, had other plans.

At 7:30 a.m. July 31, Clinard was experiencing discomfort and went to the naval hospital at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center near her home. That evening, her water broke.

Realizing Clinard was about to give birth prematurely, hospital staff loaded her into a helicopter in the hopes of getting her to Loma Linda University Medical Center in as quickly as possible.

But even that mode of transportation proved too slow.

Clinard wound up delivering her baby girl in the tight quarters of a Mercy Air 18 helicopter with help from a flight paramedic and a flight nurse — and only Percocet to dull the pain.

“The experience in itself was scary and painful and I was worried about her and what could’ve happened, but she’s doing great,” she said.

After the delivery, mother and child were rerouted to Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs, where Courtney Rose was placed in neonatal intensive care.

Clinard and her husband, Josh, who missed the birth because he was en route to Loma Linda, said the non-hospital birth has resulted in a lot of red tape, particularly registering it with the county, getting a copy of the flight record, a signed statement from the crew, and proof of pregnancy from the doctor.

Even so, the Clinards said they are just happy Courtney Rose is doing well and are grateful for everyone who helped. The flight team visited Desert Regional on Tuesday, giving the couple a chance to thank them and see their daughter’s birthplace.

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