UTAH COUNTY, Utah (KSTU/CNN) - A new mother and her premature infant are recovering in the hospital after the baby was delivered by emergency C-section following a violent car crash, likely brought on by a pregnancy complication.
Baby Beckham Hughes met his parents for the first time weighing just 2 pounds and 8 ounces. He was in an incubator and hooked up to tubes.
“It’s not the exact circumstances in the way you'd like to first meet your son,” said Hunter Hughes, Beckham’s father. “So, it was really hard.”
Still, the family considers Beckham a miracle.
Mother Rachel Hughes was 27 weeks pregnant when she felt sick at work Thursday morning and began driving home to grab her laptop, according to her husband. Not too long after she left for home, Hunter Hughes got a phone call saying Rachel had been in a car crash.
Hunter Hughes drove to the crash scene, where he discovered his wife had blacked out while driving, likely caused by a pregnancy-related medical issue. Her car slammed into a rock wall at approximately 35 miles per hour, according to authorities.
A medical helicopter flew Rachel Hughes, who had sustained serious injuries to her head and pelvis, to the University of Utah Hospital. Her family rushed to be by her side.
“Within 30 minutes, it's an emergency C-section, and your world turns upside down,” said Rachel Hughes’ father, Glen Arnell.
Unsure if his wife and baby would be OK, Hunter Hughes says every time he checked with hospital staff, they told him to wait another hour.
“You're just going, ‘What exactly is the status? What is going on?’” he said.
Finally, that evening, the family received good news: Both Rachel and baby Beckham seemed to be doing OK, though they were bruised and beaten up from the crash.
Hospital staff let the family into the room to meet Beckham.
“I’ll tell you what: that was a sweet moment,” Arnell said. “That little guy grabbed her little pinky, and he started to squeeze it. And the nurses came up, and they said, ‘If you look at the monitor, he is responding to his mother.’ He knew his mother, and that was neat.”
Both Hunter Hughes and Arnell say they’re grateful to good Samaritan Ty Shiffler, who helped Rachel in the moments after her crash.
Hunter Hughes says it isn’t clear when his wife will be released from the hospital because she’s having difficulty with mobility and walking. He says Beckham will likely stay hospitalized until September, which is when he was due.
A test next week will check for any blood ruptures in Beckham’s brain, according to Arnell. If the test shows no ruptures, the baby boy will have every ability to grow up healthily.
A GoFundMe campaign has been established for the family.