The new mother did not know that she was 29 weeks pregnant when she boarded the plane.
On Wednesday, somewhere in the Pacific, a woman who did not know she was pregnant gave birth to a baby boy.
Lavinia “Lavi” Mounga was flying from Salt Lake City to Honolulu on April 28 to go on vacation when she gave birth to her son, Raymond.
He arrived early, at just 29 weeks’ gestation.
Fortunately, a doctor from Hawaii and three nurses from the North Kansas City Hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit were also on board the nearly seven-hour Delta flight to help Mounga deliver her baby.
“We were halfway through the flight and we heard someone asking for medical help,” said nurse Lani Bamfield of North Kansas City Hospital, in a statement. “I went to see what was going on and saw her holding a baby in her hands, and it is small.”
Bamfield and the other neonatal nurses took care of Mounga and Raymond for three hours until the flight landed in Honolulu. They were then transported to the Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children in Honolulu.
“I don’t know how a patient is lucky enough to have three neonatal intensive care nurses on board on the same flight when she is in emergency labor, but that was the situation we were in,” said family medicine doctor Dr. Dale of Hawaii Pacific Health. Glenn, who was on board the flight, said in a statement. “The good thing about that was team work. Everyone jumped together and everyone helped. “
He described how challenging it was to care for both patients in a confined space as small as an airplane. They also had to improvise with tools, using laces to tie and cut the umbilical cord and an Apple Watch to monitor the baby’s heartbeat.
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Glenn and the team of nurses visited Mounga and Raymond at the hospital two days after the surprise birth.
“We all cried,” said nurse Mimi Ho of North Kansas City Hospital on discharge. “She called us family and said we are his aunts, and it was so nice to see them.”
Mounga has already been discharged, but Raymond will remain in the NICU until he is ready to go home, according to Hawaii Pacific Health.