Lavinia Mounga was flying on Delta Airlines from Salt Lake City, Utah to Hawaii on April 28 for a family vacation when she unexpectedly gave birth to a baby boy, People reports. She didn’t realize she was pregnant, and by sheer luck a doctor and team of neonatal nurses were also on the flight and helped deliver the premature baby.
Mounga named the boy Raymond; he was born at just 29 weeks.
When one of the nurses, Lani Bamfield, heard a call for medical assistance, her Kansas City-based team—Amanda Beeding and Mimi Ho—and Dr. Dale Glenn helped deliver the baby and essentially MacGyvered the situation. In lieu of scissors, they used shoelaces to cut and tie the umbilical cord and used an Apple Watch to monitor the baby’s heart rate until the plane landed.
“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. This call was not like this and it was fairly urgent,” Glenn, a Hawaii-based physician, said in a press release. He added, “We’re all trying to work in a very small, confined space in an airplane, which is pretty challenging. But the teamwork was great.”
Lavinia Mounga and her baby were transported to a local hospital upon landing in Honolulu. “It has been very overwhelming,” Mounga said, per KTLA-5. “I’m just so lucky that there were three NICU nurses and a doctor on the plane to help me, and help stabilize him and make sure he was ok for the duration of the flight.”
Julia Hansen, a woman who was on the flight, shared a video on TikTok of the birth, which has since gone viral.
“A baby was just born on this plane,” Hansen says. People begin clapping as someone announces the boy’s birth over the loudspeaker. Mounga is also shown being wheeled out of the plane as Raymond cries.