ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) - Two months after Hannah and Taylor Lindeman welcomed their third daughter, Poppy Noel, into the world, the proud parents finally got a chance to introduce her to the man who helped coach them through the roadside delivery.
It was Christmas day on the side of Highway 8 in Chisago County, Minn., and Poppy had no intentions of waiting until the family arrived at the hospital.
“Hey, Poppy. Two months already huh?” said Allina Health EMS dispatcher Jake Prager Sunday afternoon. It was his first time meeting the baby in person after talking the Lindemans through every step of her birth by phone.
“Yeah, she’s eight weeks tomorrow morning,” Hannah replied.
Although he’s only been on the job for one year and three months, Poppy marks the fourth baby Prager has helped deliver by phone.
“I think they’ve all been girls,” the dispatcher said. “Which is funny because I have four other brothers and no sisters--and my first and only kid is a daughter, too,” Prager said. “It was definitely one of the most exciting days I've had. It was probably one of the happiest in the last few months here.”
The honor is one Prager wears proudly as a pink and blue pin on his uniform, his fourth golden stork award.
“Behind that pin is the story of our daughter,” Hannah said.
“And a story that he’s a part of,” Taylor added.
Now, just a few months later, Prager is also up for another award: Dispatcher of the Year, a national award he’ll learn more about in April.
As for why the storks trust Jake? Well, he simply credits fate.
“Destiny. I don’t know how you can explain it," he said. "It’s always good that I can help people in this way and help them bring life into the world.”