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News | Sept. 20, 2022

Divine intervention: NICU nurse helps fellow pregnant nurse after roadside mishap

By Lori Newman

A nurse who works in the Oncology/Hematology Infusion Clinic was on her way to work at Brooke Army Medical Center the morning of Aug. 31 when she experienced what she thought was a Braxton-Hicks contraction.

The pain caused Cristina Wheeler to drive up on the curb when she was entering the main gate, causing her tire to blow out. She was in the far right-hand lane, so she pulled over on the side of the road and called her husband, retired U.S. Air Force Maj. Paul Wheeler, to come to help move the car and fix the tire.

“I felt a gush of fluid and I didn’t know if it was blood or my water breaking or what was happening,” Wheeler said. “I just knew that it wasn’t good, because I was so early in my pregnancy, only 27 weeks and five days. I had another contraction and was doubled over.”

U.S. Air Force 2nd Lt. Ruth Asare, a nurse who works in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, was driving out of the gate after working the night shift.

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