A woman who did not know she was pregnant prematurely gave birth on a Delta Air Lines flight from Salt Lake City to Hawaii last week.
Lavinia “Lavi” Mounga unexpectedly delivered her son, Raymond, on the flight on April 28. Several medical professionals were on board the flight, including Dale Glenn, a family medicine physician with Hawaii Pacific Health, and Lani Bamfield, Amanda Beeding and Mimi Ho, all NICU nurses at North Kansas City Hospital, according to a Sunday statement from Hawaii Pacific Health.
“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,” Glenn said in the Sunday statement. “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.”
“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,” he added, saying that “everybody jumped in together and everybody helped out.”
Raymond was born prematurely at approximately 29 weeks, according to the Sunday statement.
His early arrival forced medical professionals on board to get creative with how to care for the newborn and mother, including using shoelaces to cut through the umbilical cord, making baby warmers out of microwaved bottles and using an Apple Watch to monitor the baby’s heart rate.
After landing in Honolulu, medics were waiting to help Mounga and Raymond to a nearby hospital. She was since been discharged, but her son remains in NICU care, according to the statement on Sunday.
“The experience here has been so good,” Mounga told Hawaii Pacific Health. “Everybody’s so nice and the aloha spirit you feel here is very different from the mainland. It just feels comforting and everyone’s willing to help and always checking in on us.”
One of the passengers on the plane, Julia Hansen, made a now-viral TikTok explaining the bizarre birth, which has been viewed more than 14 million times.
It’s the ‘baby being born while we’re above the Pacific Ocean’ for me