It was just last week when NFI truck driver Mike Hawthorne was on a haul near Dallas, Texas on Route 130. When he pulled over to check his load, Hawthorne, a Vineland resident, says he was approached by a man who desperately needed help.
“He told me that his wife’s water broke and she was in labor,” said Hawthorne.
Unable to get a signal, Hawthorne sprang into action. He took out a safety kit which he always keeps handy and went to work.
“I had the gloves on and I tried to have the mom relax,” said Hawthorne.
Hawthorne helped the couple deliver a healthy baby boy. The family wrote a letter to NFI, specifically thanking Hawthorne.
“When we all first heard it we were surprised, we were happy,” said NFI member Lee Robledo. “It brought tears to some of our people’s eyes.”
Yet as amazing as his efforts were, it turns out last week’s roadside rescue was only one of several for Robledo. Hawthorne has helped deliver two other babies on the side of the road in Baltimore, Maryland as well as Ontario, California. And it doesn't end there.
"I pulled over to help a Senior Citizen change his tire," said Hawthorne. "He collapsed into my arms with a heart attack so I gave him CPR. I helped a young man riding a bicycle, he collapsed of a heat stroke. I put ice packs out of my lunch box on his neck."
Perhaps his most miraculous feat occurred all the way back in 2000, however. Hawthorne was driving through Ohio when a tornado came through. Hawthorne soon spotted a car with a baby stuck inside a car seat.
“We turned around and the tornado took the car about 75 yards out on the pasture and flipped it upside down,” said Hawthorne.
Hawthorne bravely pulled the baby out from his seat. The daring rescue as well as one of his baby deliveries earned him two highway angel awards from the Truckload Carriers Association.
Hawthorne, who has been on the road for 20 years, can barely explain his knack for saving lives.
“Right place, right time, willing to give a helping hand, faith, I don’t know,” said Hawthorne. “I’m just glad to be there in a time of need for somebody.”