Christine Normore and son Joseph reconnect with Ornge crew

Transported by Ornge due to early labour at 27 weeks

December 10, 2018

10 December, 2018



| By: Par:

Courtney Kraik

This story begins in March of 2014. Christine Normore was 27 weeks pregnant with her first child. She was a very excited first time mom-to-be but her pregnancy had not been easy. Early on, she had been diagnosed with Placenta Previa and was put on bed rest. Placenta Previa is a condition where the placenta implants itself in the inferior portion of the uterus, which may cause complications during the later trimester and during labour and delivery.

Christine was doing her best to keep herself busy during her doctor-ordered bed rest. In an effort to get her out of the house for a few hours, Christine’s mother-in-law purchased tickets to a murder mystery dinner. The two women laughed and enjoyed a great meal.

When the night was over, Christine was dropped off at home. She told her husband about the great night she had and went to bed. She woke at about 11pm later that night with cramping pains. “I went to the bathroom and realized that I had lost my mucus plug. I was only 27 weeks into my pregnancy so I knew something was not right.” Christine grabbed her phone charger, a book and a water bottle and tossed her premade hospital bag into the car. She gave her husband a kiss and said she was going to the emergency department at the West Parry Sound Health Centre (WPSHC). His last words to her as she walked out the door were “call me if you need me.”

When she arrived at the emergency department, hospital staff escorted Christine straight to the labour and delivery unit for evaluation where it was discovered she was in early labour. The staff in Parry Sound knew Christine needed definitive obstetrical care and the decision was made to transport her to Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto by Ornge.

At 3 a.m., Christine could hear the helicopter arriving and descending into the helipad at the WPSHC. Two pilots and two paramedics arrived to Christine’s room, introduced themselves, and quickly began to assess her condition. They then loaded her onto the stretcher and began transporting her to the helicopter.  

Christine asked that the paramedics to keep her upper body at a small incline because she had been experiencing bad acid reflux during her pregnancy. They made small talk as they rolled out of the hospital and onto the helipad with the sounds of a train in the distance.
The paramedics loaded her into the aircraft, did their radio checks and were cleared for take-off. Christine remembered she enjoyed listening to the crew talk to each other over the head sets. They lifted off the helipad and turned south, heading for Sunnybrook. During lift off, Christine distinctly remembered seeing the lights of the passing train from the cabin window.

Christine drifted off to sleep but awoke some time later to the sounds of monitor alarms ringing in the aircraft. The paramedics told her the helicopter may need to land because her heart rate had dropped significantly which could negatively impact her health and the health of her baby. Though, as Christine awoke, her heart rate fell within normal values, so she was kept awake for the remainder of the trip.

They landed at the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre around 5 a.m. early that morning. Christine was unloaded and transferred to a waiting Toronto Paramedic Service ambulance to move her the short distance to the hospital.  The Ornge paramedics and pilots waved goodbye and wished her best of luck and for a safe arrival of her baby. Now Christine was in the capable hands of the Sunnybrook staff. She spent a week in Toronto where staff worked on halting her early labour then she was sent home on strict bedrest.

Christine held on until her pregnancy reached full term at 39 weeks. Her son Joseph was born on July 21 in Orillia. Christine praises the decisiveness of the nurses and doctors at her sending facility in Parry Sound for contacting Ornge. She has no doubt her son would not be with her today if they had waited. “Now when I see the Ornge helicopter coming in to land at our hospital in Parry Sound, my son and I wave to crews,” says Normore. “I always tell him that an amazing crew helped Mommy!”

In November, 2018, Christine had an opportunity to reconnect with her Ornge crew to personally thank them and introduce Joseph. 


Have you or a loved one been transported by Ornge? Sharing your story helps raise awareness about safety and offers other patients some insight into experiences they may be facing. Share your story today!


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