Teen Reunited With Cop Who Delivered Her
Published: June 5, 2006 | 4309th good news item since 2003
Emily Maters could not wait for the police to arrive at her high school graduation party Sunday afternoon. In fact, she invited them.
Most teenagers probably dread a police presence at their graduation festivities, but this uniformed guest of honor was not only welcomed with open arms, but also has the distinction of being the first person Emily ever laid eyes on.
Sgt. Elizabeth Brantner-Smith, a longtime member of the Naperville Police Department, was called to aid Linda Maters on Oct. 30, 1987, when Linda gave birth to the 8-pound Emily in their former house on Remington Drive.
Sunday was the first time since that delivery that Brantner-Smith and the now-18-year-old Naperville Central High School graduate saw one another.
On Oct. 30, 1987, Brantner-Smith was called to assist an ambulance run to a home on Remington. Because of traffic, Brantner-Smith arrived at the Maters’ house before the ambulance.
“I ran up the stairs,” she said. “I am not kidding when I say she and I made eye contact,” Brantner-Smith said, referring to a partially born Emily.
“Her eyes were wide open,” Brantner-Smith said as she sat with Emily’s family and friends, recalling the tale.
Emily’s dad Dave, suggested inviting Brantner-Smith to the party, following a trend set by her brothers. Emily said they had invited celebrities to their graduation parties, namely former President Bill Clinton and basketball player Michael Jordan. (They didn’t show, but thank-you cards were sent.)
Brantner-Smith got a voice mail from Dave with an invitation, wrote it down and despite a rough day at work Saturday, made sure to R.S.V.P.
Brantner-Smith, who lives in Oswego with her family, has never forgotten the day of Emily’s birth or its effect on her life. A few days after that day 19 years ago, Brantner-Smith talked to her lieutenant about working with juveniles and starting a DARE anti-drug program for kids, a move that led to her work for years as a juvenile officer. Now she’s a senior patrol sergeant who works on the department’s elderly services and crisis intervention teams. In her spare time, she also writes about officer safety and keeping families safe, among many other things.
“(Emily’s) birthday was a turning point for me,” Brantner-Smith said. “An event like that was certainly life-changing.”