Dr. Javier Soto was on his way to work and had stopped to fill-up

By Hilary Shenfeld
December 10, 2017 03:38 PM
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A Florida gas station turned into a makeshift delivery room this weekend when an obstetrician filling up his vehicle was flagged down by a frantic man to help a woman in labor.

Dr. Javier Soto tells PEOPLE that he had stopped for a fill-up at the Speedway in Merritt Island around 6:30 p.m. local time, Friday, because his fuel light was flashing when a man approached him saying his fiancé was about to give birth in the back of their pickup truck.

The man, who had a friend driving and his fiancé in the back seat, had just zipped into a parking spot and jumped out, spotting Soto.

“Oh my God! What am I going to do?,” the man was gasping into his cell phone before noticing Soto, who was dressed in his blue hospital scrubs as he was en route to deliver a patient’s baby about 15 minutes away at Rockledge Regional Medical Center, he says.

Dr. Soto and his wife
Javier Soto

“Are you a medical professional?” the man asked Soto, 44, who — as luck would have it — happened to be an OB-GYN in practice for 13 years.

“I hesitantly said ‘yes,’ ” Soto says, noting he was unsure of what emergency he was about to encounter. Nevertheless, he ran over and opened the pickup’s back door to see a pregnant woman lying on the seat. Soto says the crown of the baby’s head was already visible.

In another twist, the woman was actually a former patient of Soto’s — she had visited for a checkup before switching clinics due to an insurance issue.

“I could wait for the ambulance or deliver the baby,” Soto says of leaping into action. “I don’t know how the baby’s doing at this point. I thought it was better to deliver the baby.”

Soto instructed the father-to-be to run inside the station and find scissors and gloves, and for the driver to hand over the shoelaces from his sneakers.

Dr. Soto and his family
Javier Soto

The doctor slipped on the food preparation gloves and then told the woman to push with the next contraction. She did and just one push later, the baby boy was born, he says, noting that it was a surprisingly quick delivery. “Normally patients in the hospital push for an hour or two,” Soto says.

Soto dried and massaged the baby until he cried, before using the shoelace to tie the umbilical cord and snip it.

“She has an angel watching over her, that’s for sure,” Soto says of the mother, adding that the entire delivery took no more than four minutes.

Both parents were “very thankful,” Soto says. “I was thinking, ‘Thank God everything came out fine.’ ”

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The ambulance arrived soon after and took the family to the hospital, with Soto following a few minutes later — after he finished pumping his gas. Soto, who later found out the baby was full-term and due Dec. 10, completed some post-natal procedures and both mother and child are “doing great,” he says.

“She’s the luckiest girl in the world,” says Soto, noting that the unexpected arrival occurred on the 12th anniversary of his own mother’s death. “God has a purpose for everything. He put me there for some reason.”

After finishing up with the mother, Soto still wasn’t done for the night.

“I then went to the other room,” he says, “and delivered the other baby.”