It’s a remarkable reunion 18 years in the making.
On November 13, 1999, Officer Robert Hunt, from the Montgomery County Police Department in Maryland, was conducting a traffic stop on the highway. Little did he know he was there for a very different reason.
At about 1:30 a.m., a minivan stopped in front of him—and a distraught man stepped out.
His wife was about to give birth and he needed the officer’s help.
“He gets out and he [says] my wife is in labor and I don’t know what to do and kind of frantic,” Hunt recently said to WTTG.
“I grabbed a pair of gloves and I went around and she was in labor.”
Hunt stepped in and helped Melissa Duboyce and her husband Joe deliver their child from their car.
And it’s a good thing the officer was there, because the delivery could’ve gone wrong.
The baby was born with its umbilical cord wrapped around its neck, but Hunt got him breathing again.
“I had to clear his mouth and get him to cry,” Hunt said. “He started crying and another officer who responded brought a towel and we wrapped him in it and handed him to Melissa.”
The couple named their son Thomas—but his middle name was Robert, after the officer who delivered him.
That was 18 years ago, but Officer Hunt still remembers it as a highlight of his career.
“It’s probably the best thing that has happened to me in my career,” Hunt said of his 24 years with the force. “Normally we don’t get to deal with stuff like that every day. It’s usually more bad than good.”
And he’s still kept in contact with the family over the years, communicating through Christmas cards. Melissa also fondly recalls that fateful delivery years ago.
“The delivery went really smoothly,” Melissa said. “He did everything and the next thing I knew, we were on our way to the hospital and he was doing great.”
As for the boy himself, Thomas grew up hearing the unlikely story of his birth, which the family often jokes about, though he’s never met the officer who delivered him.
But recently, an twist of fate brought the two together again.
Another officer looked through his child’s yearbook and by chance recognized a photo of a young Hunt. It was the photo of him after delivering Thomas.
“He was like, ‘Is this you in the yearbook?’” Hunt said. “And I go, ‘Yeah, that is the child I delivered on I-270.’”
Hunt realized that the baby from the photo was graduating high school—and had a great idea.
He surprised Thomas at his graduation!
Hunt was able to get graduation tickets through his colleague. The grad was told he had a special surprise visitor, but had no idea who it was.
“I was very confused but also curious,” Thomas told WTOP. “So I went over, and when I saw him, I recognized him from pictures and stuff. It was nice to see him after so long.”
“It was good to see him, especially after 18 years,” Hunt said. “Good kid.”
During their reunion, Thomas learned that the officer saved his life.
“I didn’t even know it was that serious, but obviously thank God he was there, or else I wouldn’t be here now,” he said.
It was also an emotional reunion for Melissa, who lost her husband this year and was grateful for the officer’s unexpected visit.
“It has been a really hard year and this was a really nice surprise,” she told WTTG. “This is really a blessing and I am thankful for [Hunt] and his wife.”
After 18 years, it was another unforgettable moment for Hunt, who has now been with the family for two major milestones in Thomas’ life.
“It was very emotional,” Hunt told Inside Edition. “It was just a good day.”