Mother and tot are fine after installer assists in birth


January 14, 1993|By Alisa Samuels | Alisa Samuels,Staff Writer

For cable TV installer Ian Ruddy, Showtime took on a whole new meaning yesterday.

Mr. Ruddy helped deliver a healthy 6-pound, 7-ounce boy to 27-year-old Sherri Hogan, who went into labor on a bathroom floor in her apartment in the 9100 block of Bourbon St. in North Laurel.

Mother and child were listed in good condition yesterday at Greater Laurel-Beltsville Hospital.

Mr. Ruddy, a 28-year-old subcontractor for Storer Cable, was in the Whiskey Bottom Apartments about 10 a.m. yesterday to install service, including Showtime, for a neighbor of Mrs. Hogan's, when he heard screaming.

"A guy upstairs said, 'This is it,' " Mr. Ruddy recalled.

And Mrs. Hogan's aunt, Teri Hogan, who had gone into the hall, saw Mr. Ruddy and said, "You don't know anything about delivering babies, do you?"

Actually he did, because four years ago, Mr. Ruddy was a Lamaze coach for a friend.

Mr. Ruddy went upstairs, knocked and found Joel Darryl Hogan talking to a 911 dispatcher.

"I said, 'You need help?,' " Mr. Ruddy recalled.

Mr. Hogan responded, "Yes, my wife is on the floor in the bathroom."

Mr. Ruddy said, "I went in there and she was on the floor, sort of in shock, a little delirious. . ."

Using his Lamaze training, Mr. Ruddy told Mrs. Hogan not to push and to delay the baby's arrival until Howard County fire and rescue personnel could arrive.

However, it was too late. After Teri Hogan fetched blankets and towels, Mr. Ruddy delivered the baby.

"Within three minutes of me getting inside the door, the baby was born," Mr. Ruddy said.

At first, young Joel Darryl Hogan Jr. was blue and not breathing, so Mr. Ruddy removed the umbilical cord from around the infant's neck. He found a faint heart beat.

When he thought the child was safe, Mr. Ruddy wrapped the baby and placed him on Mrs. Hogan's stomach. About a minute later paramedics arrived to cut the umbilical cord and take over.

The experience may be his most memorable as a cable installer, Mr. Ruddy said.

"It was very exciting," though chaotic, he said. "It's not quite as horrifying as people imagine. It's a natural thing. We have been having babies for hundreds of years."

The couple acknowledged that if it weren't for Mr. Ruddy, they'd have been in trouble, because everyone else was out of control.

"It was the cable man who did all the work," said Mr. Hogan, a military policeman.

His wife, a telephone interviewer for the Arbitron television ratings service, said Mr. Ruddy was in complete control.

"If it weren't for him, the baby would've come on the floor," Mrs. Hogan said, adding that she plans to give Mr. Ruddy a thank-you gift.

The baby is the Hogans' third child.

"If ever they need cable, I'd do it for free," Mr. Ruddy said, laughing. "It's the least I could do."

Battalion Chief Donald R. Howell, a county fire department spokesman, said Mr. Ruddy will probably be inducted into the department's Stork Award Hall of Fame.

The delivery is the first by a Storer installer and went beyond the call of duty, said David Nevins, Storer's spokesman.

Installers, who have witnessed fights, screaming kids and scantily clad residents, "thought they had seen everything before this," Mr. Nevins said.

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