Woman gives birth at 10,000 meters

By Kim Thuy   March 15, 2016 | 04:58 pm GMT+7

A woman has given birth to a baby boy while on a Jetstar Pacific flight from Ho Chi Minh City to Dang Nang.

The plane was beginning its descent, about 45 minutes after taking off from Ho Chi Minh City, when the woman went into labor.

Thanks to the help of the cabin crew and a foreign doctor who happened to be on board, the woman was able to safely deliver her child. Both are healthy and in a stable condition.

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Nguyen Thi Ngoc Nga with her husband and their newborn baby

Due to the limited medical equipment available on board, the baby's umbilical cord was not cut off until they were transferred to a hospital after landing.

Passengers in the cabin anxiously watch the dramatic scene unfold, and gave a rousing cheer on hearing the child's first cries. The anxious father held his wife's hand throughout the ordeal. 

“There were no words to describe my happiness at the moment I saw my boy for the first time. It was a fairytale to me,” the new father said.

An ambulance was waiting on the tarmac in Da Nang and the three were transported to a local hospital right after landing.

The woman was in her 32nd week of pregnancy, and she was on her way to get a few days rest at her mother’s house in Quang Nam province, 70 kilometers south of Da Nang. 

“I called my mother-in-law to let her know about the birth, but she could not believe it was true,” the husband said.

"At home, we call our baby boy 'Jetstar' to remember the unforgettable events of the flight."

As a special gift from Jetstar, the baby boy can take free flights on the airline until he turns 20 years old.

This is a second time a woman has given birth on one the the airline's flights, a representative of Jetstar said. In 2011, a woman gave birth to a baby boy on a Jetstar Pacific plane just as it was about to take off.

A surprise helping hand

Fiona Sutton, a British pediatrician who happened to be on the flight, helped to deliver the baby when crew members asked for help from passengers.

The husband said he was so worried about his wife during the delivery that he forgot to ask for the name and contact details of the doctor who came to the rescue.

"I hope Jetstar Pacific can help us to send her a thank-you letter that I wrote in Vietnamese. I do not know if she can understand the letter but we hope she knows about our gratitude,” the husband said to local media.

The airline contacted the doctor via email and a surprise visit to the family was planned. When Sutton arrived, the mother embraced her and burst into tears.

Sutton said she could still not believe that she had delivered a baby on a plane, and also asked the family share photos of the baby on social media so she could see the him everyday. 

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Fiona Sutton and other crew members of the flight visited the family at Da Nang Hospital for Women and Children. Photo: VnExpress