INDIANAPOLIS — From bumps and bruises to indigestion, the IU Health team inside Lucas Oil Stadium is ready for anything during Colts games, including mothers in labor.
”It’s certainly not something you think is going to happen when you come into work that day,” said Ashley Vlaskamp, an advanced EMT.
For two years, Vlaskamp has been the medical coordinator for social events at Lucas Oil and other venues.
On an average Colts game day, her team stays busy, responding to as many as 12 calls around the stadium for emergency care. And that number doesn’t include walk-ins to First Aid.
“A lot of times, we worry more about something like indigestion or a blister or somebody who is having a trip or a fall on the sidewalk more than somebody who is having a baby,” Vlaskamp said.
What her team has never seen before, though, is a pregnant woman in labor without enough time to get to a hospital.
But, Vlaskamp said her team was ready.
”Our team worked flawlessly together,” she said. “I couldn’t be happier with what we did.”
Vlaskamp and her team posed for a picture after delivering the baby inside one of the Lucas Oil Stadium first aid rooms.
”We deal with these things and then we have to keep going because there’s always something else that’s coming along,” Vlaskamp said.
Kareem Butler said the woman who gave birth was her niece. The baby’s mother was a few days from her due date when she went into labor walking into Lucas Oil Stadium Sunday.
“When they got here, they went to the first aid,” Butler said. “By the time they got her back there, the baby was crowning, and they delivered her here at the stadium at 1:20.”
Butler, her niece and several family and friends were all at the game for a very special reason. Butler’s son, David Bell, was playing in front of his hometown crowd for the first time as a professional football player.
Bell, a standout at Purdue and current wide receiver for the Cleveland Browns, played at Warren Central High School on the east side of Indianapolis. He found out about his cousin having her baby after the game.
“It’s a blessing,” Bell said. “Her whole idea was to try to have the baby before the game, but you know it’s all in God’s time. So, now I have a new niece! So, hopefully I get to see her when I come back to the city.”
The Capital Improvement Board said this is the first baby ever born inside Lucas Oil Stadium, and Vlaskamp is hoping no one tries for number two.
”Hopefully, no more babies,” she said. “It’s a blessing if they come, but we’re just going to try and hope for something that’s a little more calm.”
The Colts return to Lucas Oil Stadium this Sunday to face the New Orleans Saints at 1 p.m.