A doctor and three NICU nurses used shoelaces, a microwave and an Apple Watch to help deliver a baby on a Delta flight.
It was a flight to remember for new mother Lavina “Lavi” Mounga after delivering a baby on a Delta Air Lines flight from Salt Lake City to Honolulu on Wednesday.
Lucky for her, and new baby Raymond, a doctor and three NICU nurses were aboard the flight to help with delivery.
Dr. Dale Glenn has been asked to treat sick passengers before, but had never experienced anything like this.
“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, a family medicine physician at Hawaii Pacific Health, said in a press release. “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.”
Baby born on flight to Hawaii
With the help of NICU nurses Lani Bamfield, Amanda Beeding and Mimi Ho, they all helped deliver the baby who arrived at just 29 weeks.
“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,” Dr. Glenn said. “Everybody jumped in together and everyone helped out.”
Glenn relied on previous wilderness medical training to help deliver Raymond on the aircraft. He and the nurses used shoelaces to cut the umbilical cord, made baby warmers out of bottles that were microwaved and used an Apple Watch to measure the baby’s heart rate.
Upon landing in Honolulu, Mounga was greeted by medical response team.
On Friday, Hawaii Pacific Health said Glenn and the nurses were able to visit Lavi and Raymond.
“We all just teared up. She called us family and said we’re all his aunties, and it was so great to see them,” said Ho.
Mounga said she’s “so lucky” to have had three NICU nurses and a doctor to help aboard the flight. She has been discharged from the hospital, but remain in the NICU until he is ready to go home.