Baby delivered by officer ‘a beautiful miracle’

Grandmother of boy who now bears Saukville officer’s name praises him as being ‘calm, cool and collected,’ says she was humbled by responders

COLT ANJUM JOHNSON’S mother Briana Johnson (left) and grandmother Dawn Johnson spent time with him in the hospital after his premature birth on Nov. 24.
Ozaukee Press staff

The holidays are a special time, but this year the season took on new meaning for a Saukville woman, her daughter and a host of area first responders.

That’s because when Briana Johnson went into labor at her mother’s house early Thanksgiving morning and it soon became apparent she wouldn’t make it to the hospital, her mother Dawn called 911 for help.

Dawn Johnson and Saukville Police Officer Amani Anjum delivered Briana’s son, and other first responders helped the premature baby as he struggled during those first minutes.

Baby Colt Johnson is doing well today, and he has a group of guardian angels looking over him.

“It truly has been amazing and humbling for us to see everyone come together,” his grandmother said. “They care and their hearts are so big. He’s definitely loved.

“They wouldn’t leave the hospital until they knew he and his mother were OK. They stayed for hours.”

Colt, she said, “is a beautiful miracle. His mother’s doing well. Now we can focus on the happy parts.”

One of those happy parts will come at 7 p.m. Tuesday, when the first responders will be honored by the Village of Saukville.

The Johnson family had no idea what was about to happen when Briana decided to stay at her mother’s house the night before Thanksgiving. She

had some back pain, but went to sleep downstairs while her mother went upstairs.

Then, at 3:56 a.m., Briana called her mother.

“I looked at my phone and said, ‘Why would she call me now?’” Dawn said.

She ran downstairs and found her daughter, who was 30 weeks pregnant, yelling in pain. They initially thought she was having Braxton Hicks contractions, but to be sure Dawn helped her daughter to the car intending to drive to the hospital.

“We could tell he was on his way,” Dawn said. “There was no way — not a chance — we would make it,” so they returned to the house and she called 911.

That was at 4:12 a.m. Anjum was the only Saukville officer on duty that night, and he got to the Johnson house in short order. Colt was born seven minutes later, at 4:19 a.m., his grandmother said.

Anjum, she said, was a champion.

“He was calm, collected and cool,” she said. “He looked at me and I looked at him and we said, ‘We’re doing this.’

“He told me afterward, a couple weeks later, that it had been a dream of his to deliver a baby.”

But Colt wasn’t doing well, Dawn said, noting he let out a few cries after he was born but was turning blue. “It was overwhelming and beautiful and then it turned scary.”

By then, Port Washington Lt. Ryan Hurda, who had heard the call and went to help, the Saukville and Grafton ambulance crews and a sheriff’s deputy had arrived on the scene.

Hurda and Saukville EMT Deana Laabs began giving the baby compressions that seemed to go on forever.

“He said, ‘I’m not going to give up on him,’” Dawn said of Hurda.

At one point, she said, she started to freak out but Laabs looked at her and said simply, “I got you.”

“Those were the most calming moments,” Dawn said.

Once the baby was stabilized, he and his mother were taken to Aurora Medical Center in Grafton.

“When I got there, they were there too,” Dawn said of first responders. “They said we’re not leaving until we know Colt and Briana are doing OK. Everyone was absolutely wonderful.”

There were so many law enforcement officers there that some hospital staff members thought a jail inmate had given birth, she said, laughing.

Once he was stabilized, Colt, who weighed 3 pounds, 8 ounces and was 15-1/2 inches long, was transferred to the neonatal intensive care unit at Aurora Sinai Medical Center in Milwaukee.

Later that day, his mother was released from the hospital and Dawn took her to Sinai to see her firstborn son.

Colt, whose due date was Feb. 3, is expected to remain in the hospital for another month or so, but his mother is home.

“They’re both doing well,” Dawn said. “Those first couple weeks were definitely a roller coaster. But the outpouring of support from the community has been amazing.”

The first responders have been reaching out to check on Colt, Dawn said.

“I’ve been sending pictures out and giving updates,” she said, noting her grandson is now almost 5 pounds and 17 inches long.

She’s hoping this is the end of the drama with her first grandchild, Dawn said.

“Me and Colt had a talk. I told him, ‘There’s no more scaring grandma.’”

Briana has given Colt a special moniker to remind him of his birth. His middle name is Anjum, after the man who helped deliver him.

Police Chief Robert Meyer said this is the first time in his 16 years that he recalls an officer delivering a baby.

“When I went through the academy, we didn’t learn how to deliver a baby,” he said. “Fortunately, he (Anjum) got that training.”


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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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