A 2 month old child has died on board an AirAsia flight to Perth on Easter Monday.
AirAsia has confirmed a “medical emergency involving an infant” on Flight D7236 from Kuala Lumpur. In a statement to media AirAsia said, “The safety and wellbeing of our guests is always our number one priority and, in accordance with procedure, the flight crew requested medical assistance on landing at Perth International Airport. Upon arrival, the aircraft was met by a team of medical specialists and the relevant authorities, including the WA Police. We are unable to comment further on the infant’s medical situation; however, our thoughts are with the infant and family involved.”
ABC News Australia is reporting that passenger Nadia Paranzee, a former nurse, was holding the baby as it passed away. Ms Paranzee had offered to help the parents of the “really restless” infant. “I could see by looking at them that they were a little bit distressed, the baby was crying a lot, but then I could see the stewardess was giving a bottle to the baby, so I thought ‘OK, maybe it’s just hungry.'”
About 10 mins later Ms Paranzee felt a vigorous tap on her shoulder by a flight attendant. “I could see this look on the parents’ [faces]. They just sort of handed the baby to me. I took the baby straight away and I could see that she was grey in colour and she was struggling to breathe, so I said a little prayer. As soon as I said that, she went limp and I just said to the stewardess, ‘this is a medical emergency, this is not a baby in distress.'”
9 News reports that four doctors that were onboard the aircraft took it in turns to perform CPR on the baby girl for 2.5 hours, including during the landing.
Ms Paranzee told ABC that the father said the family were coming to Australia to start a new life. “[He said] ‘we’ve heard so many good things about Australia. I’m doing my PhD here. I just want a better life for us.'”
Ms Paranzee also praised the AirAsia crew for how they dealt with the situation and commended their professionalism.
The plane was met by police and paramedics on the ground. WA Police say the death is not being treated as suspicious and are preparing a report for the coroner.
The corresponding flight D7237 was delayed by about 5 hours as final investigations into the incident were carried out.
An AirAsia spokesperson apologised for the delay of D7237 and said they would assist with re-booking with onwards connections in Kuala Lumpur.