A doctor and a team of neonatal medical professionals were in the right place at the right time - helping a Utah woman deliver her baby on board an hourslong flight to Hawaii.
Lavinia "Lavi" Mounga was travelling from Salt Lake City to Hawaii on April 28 for a family vacation when she unsuspectedly gave birth to her son, Raymond, after just 29 weeks of gestation.
"Our sister did not know she was pregnant so she was just as shocked as the rest of us when our nephew was born!" the new mum's sisters wrote on a GoFundMe page that has raised nearly $7,800.
Dr Dale Glenn, a Hawaii Pacific Health family medicine physician, along with Lani Bamfield, Amanda Beeding and Mimi Ho - neonatal intensive care unit nurses from 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're pretty clear asking if there is a doctor on board," Glenn said in a Hawaii Pacific Health press release. "This call was not like this and it was fairly urgent."
Bamfield said she heard someone call out for medical help and saw how little the baby was.
All three nurses and the doctor sprung into action. With no special equipment for the premmie, the group got creative: they used shoelaces to cut and tie the umbilical cord and used a smartwatch to measure the baby's heart rate.
"We're all trying to work in a very small, confined space in an airplane, which is pretty challenging. But the teamwork was great," Glenn said.
The delivery was also the subject of a viral TikTok, which racked up more than 11 million views as of Sunday night. The video shared by Julia Hansen shows the announcement of the birth on the flight, with the plane landing three hours later.
"As most of your have probably heard, we just had a childbirth on the aircraft. Nice round of applause for the mother", she wrote on the TikTok video.
The mother was then seen being wheeled out of the plane holding her baby while passengers wished her well.
Hansen and a friend she was flying with, Siearra Rowlan, told The Washington Post the situation initially caused a commotion, but other passengers were pretty "casual" about it by the end of the flight.
"Everyone just kind of got up, got their carry-on and left," Hansen said of the scene after Mounga and her son were escorted off first.
Medical crews were waiting at the airport in Honolulu to help get the mum and baby to Kapiolani Medical Centre for Women & Children.
The three nurses from the flight were able to visit Mounga and the baby on Friday and said it was an emotional reunion.
"We all just teared up. She called us family and said we're all his aunties, and it was so great to see them," Ho said.
Mounga has since been discharged, but baby Raymond will remain in the NICU until he's ready to go home.
"It has been very overwhelming," Mounga said. "I'm just so lucky that there were three NICU nurses and a doctor on the plane to help me, and help stabilise him and make sure he was okay for the duration of the flight.
"I don't know how a patient gets so lucky as to have three neonatal intensive care nurses onboard the same flight when she is in emergency labour, but that was the situation we were in. The great thing about this was the teamwork.
"Everybody jumped in together and everyone helped out."
- NZ Herald and AP