Updated: May 6, 2021 11:22:18 am
Lavinia “Lavi” Mounga boarded the plane from Salt Lake City to Honolulu in Hawaii last week, excited about her holiday. The woman, who was unaware that she was pregnant, gave birth on the plane and deboarded with her healthy baby boy Raymond.
Reaffirming people’s belief about being at the ‘right place at the right time’, there was a doctor present in the same Delta Airlines flight, and also three NICU nurses. They plunged into action delivering the miracle baby at just 29 weeks somewhere over the Pacific.
A passengers, Julia Hansen, captured the whole event on her phone and later shared it on TikTok, which has now gone viral. “It’s the ‘baby being born while we’re above the Pacific Ocean’ for me,” Hansen captioned the video.
“A baby was just born on this plane,” she says to the camera in a low voice. The video then cuts to passengers clapping as a male voice over the intercom suggests a “round of applause for the mother. Congratulations.”
But what really amazed people online was the chances of having so many health specialists on the flight, with many saying ‘fate brought them together’. Hawaii Pacific Health, whose Family Medicine Physician Dr Dale Glenn helped the mother to give birth mid-flight, shared the joyous news online and the post quickly went viral across social media platforms.
“Newborn baby Raymond Mounga has some new aunties and an uncle for life, according to mom,” the health agency wrote online sharing some pictures from the flight and their reunion later.
“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,” Dr Glenn recalled. “This call was not like this and it was fairly urgent. I let the flight attendant know that I’m a physician and she said we have a woman having a baby, so I hurried over to see what I could do,” he was quoted in the statement.
After hearing the emergency calls, the nurses to went to see what was going on. “I went to see what was going on and see her there holding a baby in her hands, and it’s little,” NICU Nurse Bamfield said.
Bamfield and the other neonatal nurses cared for Mounga and her newborn child for three hours until the flight landed in Honolulu. They were then transported to Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children in Honolulu.
“I don’t know how a patient gets so lucky as to have three neonatal intensive care nurses onboard the same flight when she is in emergency labor, but that was the situation we were in,” the doctor was quoted by ABC 7.
Given that the baby was born prematurely and they didn’t have the necessary tools and devices to support the two patients thousands of feet in the air, the doctor recalled how difficult it was. Described how challenging it was to care for both patients in such a small confined space like an airplane, he said “great teamwork” made things possible. They also had to improvise on tools, using shoelaces to tie and cut the umbilical cord and an Apple Watch to monitor the baby’s heart rate.
Recalling it was a very tense moment for all, they were glad when the flight landed and the baby and the mother were safely transported to local hospital. They were all glad that the duo were doing fine and a couple of days later, Dr Glenn and the nurses had another chance to meet baby Raymond.
“It’s been kind of crazy since that happened,” Nurse Ho told KHON2. “And as soon as she started tearing up, we did, and she called us family and the baby’s aunties, and it was just really sweet,” she added.
“I just didn’t know I was pregnant. This guy just came out of nowhere,” said the new mother from Utah. And while the mother has been discharged, the baby is still in NICU needing further care. “Everybody’s so nice, and you know, the Aloha Spirit is definitely felt here,” Mounga added.
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