Published: January 23, 2024
LANSING, MI – Two emergency department caregivers at E.W. Sparrow Hospital were recently recognized for going above and beyond to safely bring an eager baby into the world in the hospital’s parking garage.
As a result of their heroic actions and compassionate care, Sparrow EMT Amanda Wonsey and registered nurse Jessica Carpenter were awarded the hospital’s Starfish Award for making a difference and being true advocates and champions for our most vulnerable patients.
“I’m honored and speechless,” said Wonsey. “I have worked in the hospital setting for 26 years and this was my first parking lot delivery. I’m just happy mom and baby were OK.”
Said Carpenter: “I try to always follow the Golden Rule and treat others as I would want to be treated or the way I would want my family to be treated. That rule doesn't just exist within these walls of the emergency department, it extends to the halls and the parking ramp and every aspect of life.”
Sparrow EMT Amanda Wonsey poses with her Starfish Award
Jessica Carpenter, RN, (front row, second from the right) celebrates her Starfish Award with the emergency department team.
When the local couple arrived at the hospital on Oct. 30, dad realized they were not going to make it inside and ran for help. Word spread quickly that there was someone delivering outside, and without hesitation Wonsey raced into the chilly parking ramp. She could see the top of the baby’s head and told the patient to push, delivering the baby in the family’s Suburban alongside attending physician Katheryn Moody, M.D., and residents Nathaniel Gerdes, D.O., and Desiree Albano, D.O. The baby weighed 5 pounds, 6 ounces.
While the baby was being delivered, Carpenter also jumped into action, preparing supplies, a stretcher, warm blankets, birthing kit, and readying a room. Having these supplies contributed to a safe delivery without complications.
Sparrow’s Starfish Award celebrates caregivers who provide extraordinary, compassionate, and skillful care every day. It’s based on a poem titled, “The Star Thrower” by Loren Eiseley – emphasizing that no act of kindness, regardless of how small it might seem, is ever wasted. Nominations for the Starfish Award are accepted throughout the year from patients, patient families, and caregivers.
To learn more about the compassionate and leading-edge care offered at Sparrow, visit Sparrow.org.
Sparrow is Mid-Michigan’s premier healthcare organization and includes hospitals in Lansing, Carson City, Charlotte, Ioniav and St. Johns, as well as Sparrow Specialty Hospital, Sparrow Care Network, Sparrow Medical Group, the Michigan Athletic Club, and AL!VE. Sparrow is part of University of Michigan Health. Through the dedication of our 10,000 caregivers, Sparrow pursues a vision to be nationally recognized as a leader in quality and patient experience. For more information, visit Sparrow.org.