WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WGHP) — A 22-year-old woman who Winston-Salem firefighters helped deliver when she was born met with her heroes more than two decades later.
Janea Watson is still getting to learn a lot about herself.
“I’ve never seen a baby picture of me,” Janea said.
That all changed on Saturday evening when she was reunited with the crew of Winston-Salem firefighters who helped deliver her.
“I was just shocked and excited,” Janea said.
“It happened on Nov. 10 at 6:27 in the morning,” said Ron Hepler, former fire captain of Station 3.
His crew responded to their 12th call on their shift at a home on Greenway Avenue.
“Nothing got in our way. We got out, went in, the grandma said ‘we didn’t call any firefighters.’ I said ‘when the ambulance gets here, we’ll back out the way,'” Hepler said.
They knew they had to quickly jump into action.
“About that time, the mom said ‘the baby was coming.’ I dove from me to you and caught the baby,” Hepler said.
“That was my first time seeing a baby picture of me and hearing the story about my birth,” Janea said.
Six months after Janea’s birth, her grandmother set up the first reunion. It wasn’t one that Janea could remember.
It’s the reason more than two decades later her grandmother set up another reunion at Fire Station 3 in Winston-Salem.
“I was determined to find him. I found all three of them,” said Jennie Watson, Janea’s grandmother. “They said the umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck. They had to move in fast…they did a terrific job. Once she cried, that was it. They knew everything was safe.”
“She was shy, but she warmed up to us. I was so happy to see she made it through life to be the person she is now,” Hepler said.
Janae is just thankful to the firefighters who answered the call.
“I want to say thank you, and I’m grateful for them,” she said.
The firefighters told Janea they are proud of the woman she grew up to be. Janea said it’s a relationship she plans on keeping for years and years to come.