NFI Driver Michael Hawthorne, a Stork on 18-Wheels

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NFI Driver Mike Hawthorne delivered a child while driving seventy-five miles north of Dallas. This is Hawthorne's third roadside delivery in his twenty-year career as a driver.

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Mike is an extraordinary individual and we are proud to have him as part of the NFI family. It’s employees like Mike that make NFI the great company that it is.

Early in the morning on Wednesday, March 28th, NFI Driver Michael Hawthorne made a delivery outside of his expected payload. Seventy-five miles north of Dallas, Hawthorne delivered a baby boy. This is Hawthorne’s third delivery-- amongst many other heroic roadside encounters-- since beginning his career as a driver 20 years ago.

Driving from Waxahachie, Texas to his destination in Vineland, New Jersey, Hawthorne pulled over to check his truck’s trailer. With only one other car on the road for miles, a flustered man appeared asking Hawthorne to call a medical responder because his wife was in labor. “Oh no, not again,” said Hawthorne aloud.

Situated outside of phone service towers, Hawthorne was prepared for delivery the best he could be, thanks to the emergency ‘birthing kit’ he compiled after his first roadside delivery. A state police officer drove by and called for medical support as Hawthorne was coaching the woman through contractions; however, by the time the officer returned, it was past midnight and a healthy baby boy was delivered at 12:30 a.m.

The most incredible of Hawthorne’s harrowing encounters was while he was driving West through Ohio during a tornado warning during late 2000. Pulling his truck beneath a bridge, Hawthorne came across a frantic couple whose baby was stuck in a car seat with the lock jammed. Hawthorne cut the child out with his pocketknife and ran with the couple back to his truck. Moments later, the couple’s car was thrown by the wind, landing over 75 yards away in some trees. Though shaken up, he says he didn’t fear for his own safety. “All I could think,” he says, “was I’m an idiot.” Following the storm, Hawthorne drove the couple to the closest service station and continued on his way to Anaheim, California.

With a curious nature and heroic instinct, Hawthorne has copacetically delivered two other children while traveling far from home. The first child, a baby boy, was delivered in the middle of a busy intersection in Ontario, California in 1999, and the second, a baby girl, in Baltimore in July of 2010. He has also been called upon by fate to assist a man suffering from heat stroke, as well as to give CPR to an elderly man having a heart attack while Hawthorne helped to change his tire.

Hawthorne’s atypical roadside assistance has earned him two Highway Angel Awards from the Truckload Carriers Association, one for the first baby he delivered and the second for helping rescue a child during the Ohio tornado. “Mike is an extraordinary individual and we are proud to have him as part of the NFI family. It’s employees like Mike that make NFI the great company that it is,” says NFI CEO Sidney Brown.

Hawthorne now carries an emergency kit in his car as well as his truck, considering his luck in being what many are calling an “angel” or a “doctor on 18-wheels” in such fateful roadside births. The kit consists of rubbing alcohol, latex gloves, cotton swabs, scissors, a suction cup for the child’s mouth and white shoelaces to tie off the umbilical cord.

Raised in Missouri, Hawthorne grew up very close to his mother and grandmother. Both women were midwives whom he began assisting in childbirth when he was 8 years old, as the nearest hospital was over 40 miles away. “I would help by keeping the women in labor calm,” he says, stating that this experience initially made him want to go into medicine, as he assisted in over a few dozen births growing up. “Keeping the mother calm is the most important part,” he says.

Hawthorne is 43 and lives in Somerdale, New Jersey, with his wife, Lisa, and 5-year-old daughter, Hailey. Never having delivered any of his own children, Hawthorne’s familial instincts undoubtedly aid him in finding courage on his cross-country deliveries. Hawthorne has been with NFI for 19 months, and is responsible for recovering and relocating NFI equipment across the United States.

About NFI: NFI is a fully integrated supply chain solutions provider offering logistics, distribution, warehousing, intermodal, real estate, and solar services across the U.S. and Canada. Headquartered in Vineland and Cherry Hill, NJ, NFI owns facilities nationwide and globally, more than 2,000 tractors, and more than 7,000 trailers. Privately held by one family since its inception in 1932, NFI employs more than 6,000 individuals, operates more than 21 million square feet of contract and public warehouse and distribution space, and generates $1 billion in revenue annually. NFI is a partner of the Environmental Protection Agency’s SmartWay program, which dedicates efforts to increasing energy efficiency and reducing the impact of the freight industry upon the environment.

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