CHANTILLY, Va. - Two Enterprise Rent-A-Car employees jumped into action to help a Virginia mother deliver her baby at a gas station.
It started as a normal day on the job for Nick Appel and Katy Rabassa as they filled up vehicles at the Chantilly Shell gas station right across from work on Thursday.
"We were getting gas. As we were pulling out of the gas station, Nick said, ‘I think they're having a baby right there,’” Rabassa recalled.
Rabassa hopped out of the vehicle and hopped into action by taking the phone from Ben Schaefer who'd just made a NASCAR-worthy maneuver into the parking lot.
"I think I cut off about 14 people,” Ben Schaefer said. “Just put in park and ran around and tried not to freak out!"
His wife Patricia was ready to pop in the passenger seat and she'd been in labor less than an hour.
"The thought hadn't even crossed my mind that we weren't going to make it to the hospital,” she said. “I'm thinking we're going to get there and maybe have the baby in the lobby, but I wasn't even thinking about the worst case scenario yet."
But that scenario came true. In just 3 short minutes Mackenzie Shaefer made her debut as a 911 operator walked Ben Shaefer and Rabassa through the entire process. Appel even pitched in his shoelace to tie off the umbilical cord.
"I think there was a minute of just like, ‘There's a baby here. This just happened.’ You guys had been planning, but (the baby was like) that's not how my morning was starting,” Rabassa said.
Emergency vehicles eventually arrived and it was all smiles as mom finally made it to the hospital along with her baby and one incredible birth story.
"Patricia was just absolutely amazing," Ben Shaefer said. "I guess it was a cliche to say it was a magical thing but I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world, it was absolutely amazing."
The Shaefer family is now home and we’re happy to report that little Mackenzie is healthy, happy and getting to know her big sister Ellie.