Kannon Lee Schultz was in a hurry to be born on the frigid night of Jan. 19.
That's how Kelly Schultz ended up lying on the sidewalk in front of Mayo Clinic Hospital-
Methodist Campus, just as Deborah Vinje was heading to her car after working an eight-hour shift as a radiology technician.
Schultz's water had broken at 10:15 p.m. as she and her husband were just going to bed at their house south of Dover. They called nearby grandparents to come watch their two daughters, 5 and 6. Then Cory Schultz drove into Rochester. Luckily, they hit only green lights all along Second Street as Kelly's contractions were coming at about two-minute intervals.
"If there had been one red light, she would have been born in the van," he said.
They pulled into the covered half-circle drive at Methodist's west entrance. He hit the big red after hours button outside the doors and rolled out a wheelchair for his wife. But as Kelly stepped out of their van, she could feel the baby's head crowning. Cory could even see it through her sweatpants.
"He (Cory) was saying 'We're so close' and tried to get me in, but I had to lay down," she said.
Security had medical personnel scrambling, but the baby was coming too fast. That's when Vinje walked through the glass doors and saw a woman lying on the sidewalk.
"I didn't know what was going on," she said. "I thought she had fallen trying to get in the wheelchair," she said.
Once Vinje realized the woman was in labor, she took out her phone to call the Mayo Clinic operator. That's when Schultz screamed.
"I threw down my phone and dropped down to see what was happening," she said.
What she found was baby's head already out and two little eyes looking at her. Vinje had never delivered a baby before, though she had given birth to four of her own.
"She (Vinje) just jumped right in and took over," said Cory Schultz. "It was amazing how calm she was."
A light snow was falling, though the covered entrance kept it off of Kelly. She was shivering from the cold, but she wasn't upset by the unorthodox delivery.
"I felt kind of peaceful. I felt like I was where I needed to be. I felt like I was in good hands," she remembered.
Vinje asked Kelly to push. After two pushes, she had Cory help Kelly sit up. After one more large push, she was holding a newborn baby girl at 11:07 p.m. It was about 50 minutes from when Kelly's water broke until Kannon made her dramatic appearance. The labor, just feet away from the Methodist entrance, took only minutes, though it felt a lot longer to Vinje and the Schultzes.
Vinje rubbed the baby's back and feet for a minute or so. After a few tense moments, Kannon started to cry. The medical team arrived then led by an ICU doctor. He cut the umbilical cord and the team wrapped both Kelly and Kannon up in warm blankets.
Cory Schultz gave Vinje a quick hug and learned her only first name. Then he walked over the van they had arrived in less than 10 minutes before to close the door and shut off the still-running engine.
Someone handed Vinje her phone as everyone left, and soon she was left standing alone on the sidewalk. She washed her hands and drove home, but couldn't sleep.
"I stayed up (and) watched videos about emergency births on YouTube. I kept thinking, 'Oh, I didn't do that or that. I hope they are OK,'" she remembered.
The Schultzes immediately started a search to discover the woman who delivered their baby and thank her.
"She kind of disappeared into the night," said Kelly Schultz.
Mayo Clinic security pulled up camera footage and soon identified her. On Monday, Vinje got to meet the Schultzes and hold little Kannon for the second time.
She gasped as they showed her Kannon's unofficial birth certificate. It showed the baby's name of Kannon Lee Schultz, which they chose before her rapid arrival. She weighed 7 pounds, 10 ounces and was 20.5 inches long. And on the blank for the delivering doctor was her name.
"Oh my, I never expected that," Vinje said.
They all agreed that Kannon's rapid arrival made a great story to tell her as she grows up.
"The best part is that it ended well with everyone healthy," said Cory Schultz as he watched his wife holding Kannon as Vinje cooed at the baby. "By the grace of God, the right person walked through the door at the right time."