Congratulations to Asda customers Rhys and Natalie Cooper Jones whose baby Tyler was born in the car park of our Eastbourne store!
When the store's community champion Athena Putland and her colleagues found out about the dramatic events they arranged for the family to pop in so they could congratulate them and hand over a whole host of baby essentials for little Tyler.
The drama unfolded late at night when Natalie started to go into labour at their home in Eastbourne. The couple, along with their four-year-old daughter, Amisha, started to head to Hastings Conquest Hospital, but Natalie's contractions intensified so, after talking to the ambulance service, they pulled over into a quiet part of our car park.
Rhys, who's 29, said: "I thought straightway that I needed to be somewhere which was light and easy for an ambulance crew to find us.
"The crew then asked me if I could see the baby yet so I had a look and said 'no', but something told me to look again and I saw his head!
"I then thought I needed to spring into action and deliver this baby, I had no choice in it. There was a little but of panic, but it was a case of I've got to do it. I didn't have time to think about it.
"I delivered Tyler and a couple of minutes later the ambulance crew turned up. They cut the umbilical cord and everything like that but I think I was the first to hold Tyler."
It's the second time Rhys, who's a delivery driver for a furniture charity, has had to deliver his own baby!
He said: "I'm proud of myself for doing it - but it's not my first time as I delivered Amisha too!
"It was slightly different then – we were in St George's Hospital in Croydon as Natalie as going to have a water birth. The midwife said they were just going to get the birthing pool ready, but as soon as they got half way down the corridor little Amisha decided to show up, so I ended up delivering her!"
Amisha was in the back seat of the car while her brother was born.
Rhys said: "I just kept telling her that it was all natural. She was calm and in a way she was keeping me calm too!
Thirty-three-year old Natalie said she had no qualms about giving birth to Tyler in the Asda car park.
She said: "I just told Rhys that that the contractions were getting worse and I couldn't get to the hospital and he would have to pull over. It's unusual giving birth in a car park but it all went well in the end.
And she added that she was really proud of how Rhys handled the situation.
She joked: "I think Rhys is going to be writing his own book on how to deliver babies now!"
Natalie said she couldn't believe it when Athena invited the family into the store to pick up some gifts. "I was gobsmacked with everything we received from Asda," she said. "I thought 'wow'! We can't thank Athena and the team there enough. It was a really nice gesture."
Athena said the store wanted to say congratulations to the couple, who are weekly shoppers at the store, and wish them all well.
She said: "It's not every day a baby gets born in an Asda car park so we thought we'd do something special for them. We're just so glad that mum, dad and their gorgeous baby are all safe. Tyler is just so tiny, he's so cute and mum and dad are so proud of him.
"We wanted to make sure they had a few essentials and we also got mum and dad some flowers and chocolates as we thought they'd deserved them.
"It's such as lovely feel-good story which is nice to have at the moment."