State trooper reunites with baby he helped deliver

Trooper J.L. Thorpe got to see a baby girl, Ailey, and her parents on Thursday – almost two weeks after he helped in her roadside delivery.

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CLAYTON, N.C. — A state trooper was reunited on Thursday for the first time with a baby girl whom he helped deliver along a Johnston County highway.

Trooper J.L. Thorpe was conducting a routine traffic stop at N.C. Highway 42 and N.C. Highway 50 on Saturday, June 28, when a couple driving by waved him over.

Beverly Simmons and her husband, David, had left for the hospital when her water broke 10 minutes earlier. But Beverly Simmons said she knew the baby was on its way.

"Luckily, we got at the top of the hill, and the most beautiful blue light you've ever seen in your entire life was sitting there," David Simmons said.

Thorpe came over and found himself in a surprising situation.

"You told me you were having a baby, and I thought, 'You've got to be kidding,'" he said

"I didn't know what to do other than tell her to breathe. And I must have told her to breath a hundred times," the trooper continued.

Within three minutes, Thorpe, despite his surprise, was holding a baby girl – Ailey Simmons.

"I wasn't expecting the baby to come out that quick," Thorpe said. "And when she did, it was basically catching her in my hands. She came right into my hands."

Both mother and father expressed gratitude that Thorpe was there to bring their new daughter into the world.

"He's very calm, and he helped me stay calm," Beverly Simmons said.

"If he hadn't have been there, I probably would have to be on the side of the road by myself and would have had to try to go through all of that with just the two of us," David Simmons said. "And I can't imagine how scary that would have been."

Ailey came two weeks early, but she and her mother recovered at WakeMed and have returned home.

In a meeting arranged by WRAL News, Thorpe reunited with Ailey and her parents, Beverly and David, at their home on Thursday.

Thorpe shook Ailey's hand with his pinky finger and called her "cute" and "beautiful" while she gurgled.

"It's exciting," Thorpe said. "I almost feel like part of the family in a ways. You know, I was part of the delivery."

Thorpe said he has dealt with four medical emergencies since he joined the Highway Patrol in June 2007.

Doctors credited Thorpe with saving a woman's life in January when he performed CPR her after a crash on U.S. Highway 70 in Clayton. The woman had suffered a heart attack.

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John Cox, Photographer
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