Baby born on plane that happened to be carrying doctor and neonatal nurses

A woman who went into labour prematurely on a plane was fortunate to have chosen a flight with some highly qualified fellow passengers.

Lavinia “Lavi” Mounga was travelling from Salt Lake City to Hawaii on 28 April for a family holiday when she went into labour at 29 weeks with her son, Raymond.

When a request for a doctor went out some expert passengers responded.

“About halfway through the flight there was an emergency call, and I’ve experienced this before and usually they’re pretty clear asking if there is a doctor on board,” said Dale Glenn, a Hawaii Pacific health family medicine doctor. “This call was not like this and it was fairly urgent.”

There were also three neonatal intensive care unit nurses from North Kansas City hospital on board. All four sprang into action.

With no special equipment, the group got creative: they used shoelaces to cut and tie the umbilical cord and a smartwatch to measure the baby’s heart rate.

“We’re all trying to work in a very small, confined space in an airplane, which is pretty challenging. But the teamwork was great,” Glenn said.

One of the passengers recorded the clapping and cheering as the flight crew called for congratulations for the new mother, with the TikTok by Julia Hansen being viewed more than 11m times.

Medical crew entered the plane in Honolulu after the plane landed three hours later. Cries of the newborn could be heard as the mother and baby boy were taken off in a wheelchair.

Hansen and a friend she was flying with, Siearra Rowlan, told the Washington Post the situation initially caused a commotion but passengers were pretty “casual” about it by the end of the flight.

“Everyone just kind of got up, got their carry-on and left,” Hansen said.

The three nurses were able to visit Mounga and the baby at Kapiolani women and children’s hospital in Honolulu and said it was an emotional reunion.

“We all just teared up. She called us family and said we’re all his aunties, and it was so great to see them,” Ho said.

Mounga has since been discharged but baby Raymond will remain in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) until he is ready to go home. “It has been very overwhelming,” Mounga said. “I’m just so lucky that there were three NICU nurses and a doctor on the plane to help me, and help stabilise him and make sure he was OK for the duration of the flight.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Comments are closed.