A woman traveling from Salt Lake City to Hawaii for a family vacation was unknowingly pregnant and gave birth mid flight with the help of on board doctors.
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 onboard an hourslong flight to Hawaii.
Lavinia “Lavi” Mounga of Orem was traveling from Salt Lake City to Hawaii on April 28 for a family vacation when she gave birth to her son, Raymond, at just 29 weeks gestation.
“It was a shock to myself and everybody on the plane,” said Mounga during an interview from the hospital in Honolulu.
Mounga said she had no idea she was even pregnant.
“The weirdest pain. I’ve never felt that pain,” she said.
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.”
Mounga said she went to the bathroom and passed out, only to wake up to see a baby in her arms.
“Felt the pressure, and the next moment, I open my eyes and I look down and I really don’t know what I saw, but I put my hand down and I picked it up and it was a baby,” she said.
All three nurses and the doctor sprung into action. With no special equipment for the preemie, 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.
Medical crews were waiting at the airport in Honolulu to help get the mom and baby to Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children.