Mother who gave birth on National Express coach at Heathrow Airport describes experience as ‘surreal’

National Express Driver Tony Boswell (left) with husband and wife Isaiah and Adepeju Opayemi and their newborn son Samuel. Credit: National Express/PA Wire

By Imogen Howse

Baby Samuel was safely delivered in what was a “surreal but very good” experience for mum Adepeju Opayemi.

A mother who gave birth to her son on a National Express coach has described the experience as “surreal”.

Adepeju Opayemi, 30, from Hackney, cried for help from her fellow passengers after unexpectedly going into labour when her coach, which was travelling from Swindon to London Victoria, arrived at its scheduled stop of Heathrow Airport on 24 May.

A nurse onboard the National Express coach rushed to the aid of Ms Opayemi, keeping her calm while they waited for paramedics to arrive.

“One particular passenger who sat in front of me was a great help,” the new mother said.

“I can’t recall her name, but I believe she is a nurse and was travelling with her two children. She kept me calm, stayed with me until the paramedics arrived, [and] even gave me her sweater to use as a pillow. I hope we can be reunited so I can personally thank her – and return her sweater.”

Driver Tony Boswell also stayed by Ms Opayemi’s side as he tried to calm and reassure her – only leaving to track down a first-aider in the airport who he hoped could provide further assistance. He said the unexpected birth is an experience that will “stay with [him] for a very long time”.

“My passengers are more important to me than anything else, once they get on board they are my first priority,” the 70-year-old from Wiltshire commented. “It was such a heart-warming moment and I’m very grateful I was able to be a part of it.

“It was a team effort, with a wonderful nurse stepping up and the staff at Heathrow doing an amazing job. The other passengers were completely bemused by the whole thing. It’s not often I can say that I helped deliver a baby on a coach!”

Ms Opayemi, who had been travelling to visit her aunt before the unexpected turn of events, added: “The driver was absolutely amazing and kept reassuring me, he even went as far as getting a first-aider from the airport to assist while we were waiting for the paramedics.”

Paramedics did arrive on the scene, but Ms Opayemi had been through most of her labour – giving birth five minutes later. She said she kept thinking to herself “this cannot be happening”, but feels grateful to all those who helped her deliver her new baby boy Samuel.

“It was a surreal but very good experience I must say,” she commented. “I had people around me offering their support and words of encouragement. I am so grateful Samuel arrived safely.”

Ms Opayemi even later received a call from National Express asking how she and Samuel were doing – which she described as “lovely”.

Ms Opayemi and her husband Isaiah, alongside newborn Samuel, later reunited with Mr Boswell. “It was so lovely to be reunited with the family and to have a cuddle with baby Samuel,” the driver commented. “I wouldn’t have missed it for the world, this will stay with me for a very long time.”

Ed Rickard, service delivery director at National Express, said he was “immensely proud” of Mr Boswell’s response and initiative in the situation.

“We are immensely proud of Tony for his exceptional response in this situation. His professionalism, calmness and compassion is a testament to our unwavering commitment to passenger safety and well-being.

“We are delighted to welcome the newest member to the National Express family and everyone here extends their warmest congratulations to Mr and Mrs Opayemi.”