Dad Saves Wife And Baby's Life Using SHOELACE

by Robert Dunne

A father from Pontypridd, South Wales, has saved the lives of both his wife and his newborn son after using his shoelace to tie off the umbilical cord.

Dan Sparrow, 38, and mum Vicki, 28, were left fearing for the safety of their child after Vicki went into labour early in the family living room. The couple had planned to have an arranged caesarean section at 38 weeks due to a suspected placental infection, which caused doctors to fear the impacts a natural labour could have, however, 12 days before their arranged date, Vicki was woken in the night by shooting stomach pains.

Dad Saves Baby Using Shoelace
Parents Dan and Vicki With Their Two Children. Image Credits: SWNS

Vicki’s initial reaction to the pains was that it was simply Braxton hicks contractions, however, on waking up a second time due to the pain the couple realised baby Kayden had decided to make an early entrance to the world. Having called 999, Dan followed the instructions of the person who answered his call, who, according to Dan “did help steer me in the right direction”. 

However, Dan was faced with a dilemma, as he explains when he says “the woman was saying I had to find something to cut the cord. The thing is I was still in my boxers. I was in the middle of getting dressed when Vicki’s waters broke. [...] I looked to my side and saw my work boots in the hallway. I knew if I didn’t cut it right I would have risked poisoning Vicki or Kayden or even both. I had no clue what I was doing.”. He then tied a shoelace from his workboots around the umbilical cord to cut off the blood supply connection between mother and baby, until the paramedics could cut the cord with something sterile.


45 minutes after making the initial 999 call, paramedics arrived and cut the cord, before taking the newborn to Cardiff University Hospital where baby Kayden spent two and a half weeks in the neonatal unit due to the early delivery. Nurses have since praised Dan for his quick thinking during such a stressful circumstance, especially since baby Kayden is now four-and-a-half months old, and despite having to regularly visit Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital every two weeks, doctors say he is growing at a “healthy rate”.

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Written by

Robert Dunne

Junior Content Writer
Hiya! I’m Rob, a Content Marketing Apprentice from Kent, although my work with Your Baby Club all takes place from London. My main passions are politics, journalism, current affairs and events and generally staying in the present moment. Most of my time is spent out experiencing the world, whether that’s by foot, train or car, seeing and doing all that I can in the world. It is my intention to keep the parents of Britain, as well as those generally interested, informed in all things baby that is happening in the world with the hope of one day becoming a platform of news, knowledge and conversations for all those interested in the world of babies.

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