(CNN) – There were many surprises on a flight to Hawaii last week starting with the birth of a baby to a woman who did not know she was pregnant.
Not only did there happen to be a doctor on board the Salt Lake City-Honolulu flight, but there were also three newborn intensive care nurses – and everyone came to work immediately.
“About halfway through the flight there was an emergency call and I have experienced this before and usually they are pretty clear and ask if there is a doctor on board,” said Dr. Dale Glenn, family physician at Hawaii Pacific Health in press release from the hospital system. “This call was not like that and it was quite urgent. I let the flight attendant know that I am a doctor and she said we have a woman having a baby so I hurried over to see what I could do.”
The three NICU nurses working at North Kansas City Hospital in Missouri also jumped into action, according to the Hawaii Pacific Health press release.
Dr. Glenn poses for a picture with Lavi Mounga and baby Raymond before leaving the plane.
Hawaii Pacific Health
“I went to see what was going on and see her there with a baby in her hands and it’s small,” said nurse Lani Bamfield.
The mother, Lavinia “Lavi” Mounga, had unexpectedly welcomed a boy she called Raymond while on her way to a family vacation. He was born after 29 weeks.
“I just did not know I was pregnant, and then (Raymond) just came out of nowhere,” Mounga told Hawaii Pacific Health.
NICU nurses Lani Bamfield, Amanda Beeding and Mimi Ho stand next to Lavi Mounga holding her new baby.
Hawaii Pacific Health
For the rest of the Delta flight, Glenn, Bamfield, and co-nurses Amanda Beeding and Mimi Ho took care of Mounga and her baby. The team improvised with available equipment and kept the baby stable for three hours until the plane landed.
According to the release, Glenn relied on wilderness training to help with the birth, as the lack of the usual equipment needs to help with a premature birth. He and the nurses used laces to tie the umbilical cord and made baby warmers out of bottles that were microwave.
At one point, they had to use an Apple Watch to monitor the baby’s heart rate because they did not have normal tools available, the press release said.
As soon as the plane landed in Honolulu, the medical team helped get mom and baby to Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children.
“I do not know how a patient gets so lucky to have three newborn intensive care nurses on board the same flight when she is in emergency labor, but that was the situation we were in,” Glenn said. “The great thing about this was teamwork. Everyone ran in and everyone helped.”