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New dad Nathan Thompson was a nervous wreck when he walked out of hospital.
A twisted umbilical cord had just about killed both his partner and his unborn son.
And when he discovered that the family car had been stolen from its parking spot right outside Christchurch Women's Hospital, he was at the end of his tether.
"I just broke down," Mr Thompson said.
The car had been filled with newly-bought baby clothes and essentials.
It also had two car seats - one for the newborn, Carter who is now healthy and well - and his older brother, 2-year-old Koen.
Mr Thompson, 31, was on his way to pick Koen up from preschool to meet his new sibling, and see mum Shannon Weir, 27.
But the "heartless" thieves meant he was stranded.
"Who would do that?" a bewildered and still upset Mr Thompson said yesterday.
"It really annoys me. We moved back from Australia to help rebuild Shannon's home town, and things like this happen... it's such a shame."
Ms Weir went into labour about 8pm on Thursday night.
A midwife suggested they hurry from their home in Hornby, west Christchurch, into hospital.
There were soon complications, with the umbilical cord wrapping around unborn Carter's neck.
"Things took a real turn for the worse and I thought I was going to lose them both," Mr Thompson said.
"About 15 doctors came in and they decided to do an immediate c-section. Thank God they're both OK."
The pre-cast concrete worker praised the quick and professional actions of the medical team.
And he was impressed with the police officers who are now trying to track down his maroon Nissan Bluebird.
Superintendent Andy McGregor, Christchurch area manager, said the area was not a known hot spot for car thefts.
"This is an extremely unfortunate event for this couple, at what is a very stressful time for them," he said.
"Unfortunately in this case it seems there is little evidence to give us a line of enquiry, but we will be making every effort to recover the vehicle promptly if at all possible."
Ms Weir is recovering and will remain in hospital over the weekend.
- By Kurt Bayer of APNZ