Father arrives just in time for birth of his daughter after fainting in delivery room

Even with nine months of preparation before the big day, one father couldn’t have anticipated having to get staples in his head just hours before his daughter was born.

In a very detailed X, formerly known as Twitter, thread, Luke Epplin admitted to having fainted in the delivery room before his wife, Jane Healy, gave birth to their daughter, Ava. On 26 March, the candid man shared exactly how he realised the reality of a common romcom trope when he passed out, hit his head, got a cat scan, and was forced to sprint through a New York hospital just so he made it in time to see Ava come out.

“All right, here’s my wild story of the birth of my daughter, Ava,” he started. “My wife started going into labour on Friday, so we spent that night at a hospital in Upper Manhattan. I slept little that night and then not at all the next day. Finally, on Saturday night, I dozed on a couch.”

By four in the morning, Epplin was abruptly woken up “to active labour”. As quickly as he jumped to his feet, he fell back to the floor.

He proclaimed: “Whether because of exhaustion, lack of food, or having just gotten up, I don’t remember anything else. I fainted.”

“When I woke up, I was on the floor, blood oozing from the back of my head. I’d hit my head on the edge of a metal table as I fell and cut a gash in it,” the dad continued. “It was serious. They called the EMTs, had a stretcher come up and whisked me to the emergency room.”

Epplin luckily didn’t have to get a CT scan, which would’ve made him miss Ava’s birth. Instead, the doctors ran some tests, treated his wound, gave him six staples, and sent him on his way – all in about an hour.

He tried to find his way back to Healy after receiving a text from her that said, “Ava’s waiting,” meaning she hadn’t given birth yet. However, he was at the other end of the hospital that spanned “more than a city block” and was “connected by tunnels”. At first, Epplin was being escorted by the nurse, but she was quickly called back to her post, leaving him with directions for the rest of the way.

“I thought I followed them correctly, got an elevator to the 10th floor, and ended up in a bone marrow centre,” he explained. “Granted, I’m in the clothes I slept in, with a massive white bandage wrapped around my head, like something you’d see in a World War I movie.”

When he flagged down another nurse to tell her his wife was in labour, unfortunately, the hospital worker was too suspicious, given his appearance. And without any cellphone, visitor’s badge, or form of identification, Epplin didn’t exactly present himself like a typical father looking for his wife in labour.

“She took one look at me and said, ‘I think you need to see security.’ I said I didn’t have time, but she escorted me out and firmly but politely dropped me off with a guard,” Epplin continued.

Luckily, he did have his discharge papers on him and presented them to the security guard. To get through to the guard, Epplin steadied his voice and slowly described how he’d fainted in the delivery room and was sent to get staples.

“He was *very* skeptical. But he let me leave at least. On the street, no coat on, I rushed around until I found a parking valet,” Epplin wrote. “This time, I didn’t even try to explain. I simply asked where the maternity wing was, he said two blocks down, and I sprinted in my bandages and slippers. Again, my old nemesis greeted me: security.”

The frantic father was instructed to give his story once again, adding how Healy was waiting for him on the 10th floor. The hospital then called up to confirm and took his photo for a new badge before allowing him to pass through. Epplin was in such a hurry that the picture captures him “wild-eyed” and with his name spelled incorrectly.

Next to a poignant image of him holding Ava, he noted: “I dashed into the maternity ward, the attendant looked at me, and said, ‘Oh, you’re the guy everyone’s talking about.’”

“I came back to my daughter not yet born. My wife asked how it went. I said, ‘I’ll tell you later.’ An hour later, this photo was taken,” he finished.

Before signing off, Epplin inserted a photo of his messy badge – the second one.

Speaking to Today, Healy seemed to have a lighthearted take on the situation. “As much as you try to plan, things just happen sometimes,” she confessed. “I feel like we all got pretty bruised up that first day. Luke got staples, I’ve got stitches, Ava had a bruise on her cheek. We all looked like we were in a fight.”

The Independent has contacted Epplin for a comment.