HONOLULU (AP) – A doctor and a team of neonatal health professionals were in the right place at the right time – helping a Utah woman give birth on a one-hour flight to Hawaii.
Lavinia “Lavi” Mounga was traveling from Salt Lake City to Hawaii on April 28 for a family vacation when she gave birth to her son, Raymond, just 29 weeks gestation.
Hawaii Pacific Health family physician Dr Dale Glenn, along with Lani Bamfield, Amanda Beeding and Mimi Ho – nurses in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at North Kansas City Hospital – were also on board.
“About halfway through the flight there was an emergency call, and I’ve experienced this before and usually they clearly ask if there is a doctor on board,” he said. Glenn said in a press release from Hawaii Pacific Health. “This call was not like that and it was quite urgent.”
Bamfield said she heard someone call for medical help and saw how small the baby was.
The three nurses and the doctor took action. Without special equipment for the premature baby, the group got creative: they used laces to cut and tie the umbilical cord, and used a smart watch to measure the baby’s heart rate.
“We all try to work in a very small, confined space on an airplane, which is quite difficult. But the teamwork was great, ”said Glenn.
The delivery was also the subject of a viral TikTok, which garnered more than 11 million views as of Sunday evening. Video shared by Julia Hansen shows the birth announcement on the flight, with the plane landing three hours later.
Hansen and a friend she flew with, Siearra Rowlan, told the Washington Post that the situation initially caused a stir, but other passengers were rather “occasional” at the end of the flight.
“Everyone got up, took their carry-ons and left,” Hansen said of the scene after Mounga and her son were first escorted.
Medical teams were waiting at the Honolulu airport to help bring the mother and baby to the Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children.
The three nurses on the flight were able to visit Mounga and the baby on Friday and said it was an emotional reunion.
“We all just tore it up. She called us from family and said we were all her aunts, and it was so great to see them, ”Ho said.
Mounga has since been released, but baby Raymond will remain in the NICU until he is ready to return home.
“It was very overwhelming,” Mounga said. “I’m so lucky that there were three nurses from the NICU and a doctor on the plane to help me, help stabilize him and make sure he was okay for the duration of the trip. flight.”