No Foolin’: Baby born in car on the way to Providence Centralia Hospital on April 1 


Early the morning of April 1, Calista and Tommy Ripp started driving from Mossyrock to Capital Medical Center in Olympia for Calista to give birth. 

As the couple drove down U.S. Highway 12 toward Interstate 5, however, they quickly realized Calista was too far along in labor for them to make it all the way to Olympia in time. 

“We quickly changed course and headed for Providence in Centralia, but before we could make it over the Chehalis River bridge by the Centralia police (facility), I was pushing and our little miracle was born,” Calista told The Chronicle. “We got to the hospital as quickly as possible. My husband was amazing, keeping in contact with the ER staff by phone the whole time.”

Hospital staff soon confirmed the baby boy was healthy. They estimated he was born at approximately 4:52 a.m. on April 1. 

“They were prepared for us when we got there, and they were amazing. We greatly appreciate what they did for our family,” Calista said of Providence Centralia’s Emergency Room and Family Birth Center staff.

Providence Centralia Hospital has a precipitous delivery response procedure in place for when a mother arrives at the emergency department with a recent newborn or in imminent state of delivering, according to Providence Swedish South Puget Sound. 

The procedure involves Family Birth Center caregivers immediately going down to the emergency department to assist ER caregivers in caring for the mother and baby until both are stabilized. 

The mother and baby are then admitted and transferred to the Family Birth Center for care until they are discharged, according to Providence Swedish South Puget Sound. 

“We have dedicated and prepared staff to meet the needs of the community, including emergent delivery of a baby,” said Providence Centralia Hospital Site Administrator and Executive Director of Nursing Cindy Sidley. “We are proud the community trusts us for their health care needs, even in the most challenging times.”

Calista and Tommy Ripp have since named their baby boy Matthew Morgan in honor of Calista’s uncle, former Mossyrock Fire Chief Matt Hadaller III, who died in 2011 at the age of 48.