A lady who had no idea she was pregnant gave birth to a baby boy on a Delta Airlines flight that also happened to carry a medical staff that immediately went on to help her.
According to a press release from Hawaii Pacific Health, Lavinia “Lavi” Mounga was traveling from Salt Lake City to Honolulu on Wednesday when she spontaneously gave birth to her baby son Raymond at just 29 weeks.
“Our sister did not know she was pregnant so she was just as shocked as the rest of us when our nephew was born!” the new mom’s sisters posted on a campaign website that has gotten nearly $6,000.
Fortunately for Mounga, there were many travelers on the flight who knew how to care for a mother and her new baby: Dr. Dale Glenn, a family medicine practitioner for Hawaii Pacific Health, and NICU nurses Lani Bamfield, Amanda Beeding, and Mimi Ho.
“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 great thing about this was the teamwork,” Mounga said in the press release, explaining that everyone got in together to help in the delivery of the baby.
Glenn said a “fairly urgent” emergency call came over the loudspeaker around halfway into the trip, and a flight attendant informed him of what was going on.
Bamfield, Beeding, and Ho, who are specifically qualified to handle premature births, were already waiting for him when he made it to Mounga.
“We were about halfway through the flight and we heard someone call out for medical help. I went to see what was going on and see her there holding a baby in her hands, and it’s little,” Bamfield’s stated in the release.
Since the party lacked the normal hospital equipment, Glenn focused on wilderness medical experience, and he and the nurses used shoelaces to attach and cut through the baby’s umbilical cord, according to the release.
They also came up with the idea to use microwaved bottles as baby warmers and used an Apple Watch to monitor the newborn’s heart rate, holding him healthy for the three-hour flight.
“I was literally counting down the time on my watch, between where we are in the flight to when we can get this child to Kapiolani [Medical Center for Women and Children],” Glenn said in the statement.
“As soon as we got him on board the ambulance, we headed straight for Kapiolani. And once he arrived there, the emergency room took great care of him, moved him up to the NICU, and baby and mom are both doing great.”
Mounga, who resides in Orem, Utah and was on holiday in Hawaii with her relatives, got a special visit from the fantastic group two days later in the hospital.
“We all just teared up,” Ho said in the press release. “She called us family and said we’re all his aunties, and it was so great to see them.”
The new mother has been released, but Raymond will stay in the NICU until he is able to go home.
Julia Hansen, a TikTok user, caught the heartwarming tale on camera, and her viral clip has been watched more than 13.4 million times.
“A baby was just born on this plane,” Hansen says in the video. Following an overhead announcement from the airplane crew about the pregnancy, there is a round of applause. At the end of the video, Mounga is wheeled out, and people applaud as the baby can be heard healthily crying.
According to a spokesperson for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, whenever a birth happens in a “moving conveyance,” such as an aircraft, the child’s place of birth would be identified as the location where they were first separated from the conveyance.