LYONS, Colo. (CBS4) – A Lyons mother who went into labor in the middle of the flood says it was a life and death race to escape for her and her baby.
Ginger and Roy Palmeri had tried for four years to have a baby. They were finally expecting — just 5 days from the due date — when the flood hit. They became trapped and their baby boy decided to come early.
“I was up at 2 a.m. because the sirens were going off,” Roy said. “I just never thought it could happen that fast.”
“The rain just kept coming and coming and coming,” Ginger said.
In one of the worst floods in Colorado history as thousands of people left their homes and entire mountain communities were washed away a miracle happened. Jackson Rocko Palmeri entered the world just hours after his parents escaped floodwaters that destroyed much of their hometown of Lyons.
Ginger and Roy were rescued by the Colorado National Guard and barely made it to safety when Ginger went into labor. Roads were closed all over the county.
“I called the hospital and they said, ‘You should call CDOT.’ CDOT said, ‘There’s no way you can get there from where you’re at now,’ “ Roy said.
Yet a path seemed to open before them. The outcome could have been far different.
“I had to have a C-section and then he wasn’t breathing,” Ginger said. “It’s just overwhelming, totally overwhelming,” Ginger said.
“There were so many variables. If one thing went wrong everything could have went wrong, but everything went right,” Roy said.
“It seemed like everyone made him so important for them,” Ginger said.
Jackson’s nickname is “Flash” — a little super hero.
“He’s going to grow up and watch this and go, ‘Wow, my parents are idiots,’ ” Roy said.
They think he’s a symbol of hope for Lyons, a community that they say will survive the flood as well.
“We’re very lucky, we’re so lucky,” Ginger said.
The new parents said so many people have helped them, including a family that’s allowing them to borrow their home for the next couple months. They’re especially grateful to Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle who put them on the emergency evacuation list and who is now Jackson’s unofficial godfather.
Colorado Floods: How To Help
The recent floods are impacting families and communities throughout Colorado, so CBS4 has compiled a list of ways you can support the local communities impacted by the floods.