Nurse, doctor help ‘lucky’ Uta mother who gave birth in flight


Hanolu – A doctor and a team of newborn medical professionals were in the right place at the right time – a Utah woman helped to ship her baby on an hour-long flight to Hawaii.

Lavinia “Lavi” Mounga was traveling to Hawaii from Salt Lake City on April 28 for a family vacation after giving birth to her son, Raymond.

Dr. Dale Glenn, an Hawaii Pacific Health family medicine doctor, along with Lani Bamfield, Amanda Beeding and Mimi Ho – were also nurses at the neonatal intensive care unit of North Kansas City Hospital.

“About halfway to the flight, there was an emergency call, and I’ve experienced this before and usually they are asking if there is a doctor,” Glenn said in an Hawaii Pacific Health press release. “This call was not so and it was quite urgent.”

Bamfield said he heard someone calling for medical help and saw how young the child was.

The three nurses and doctors swung into action. With no special equipment for the preme, the group got creative: they used shovels to cut and tie the umbilical cord and use a smartwatch to measure the child’s heart rate.

“We’re all trying to work in a very small, confined space in an airplane, which is very challenging. But the teamwork was great,” Glenn said.

The delivery was also the subject of a viral tickcock, which by Sunday night received more than 11 million views. The video, shared by Julia Henson, shows the birth announcement on the flight, in which the plane takes off after three hours.

Hansen and a friend, with whom she was flying, Sierra Rowlan told The Washington Post that the situation initially caused a ruckus, but other passengers were very “casual” about it until the end of the flight.

“Everyone just got up, got on their carry-ons and left,” Henson said before Maunga and his son were locked up.

Medical crews waited at the airport in Honolulu to help receive the mother and child at the Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children.

Three nurses from the flight were able to visit Maunga and the child on Friday, saying it was an emotional reunion.

“We all just tore it up. She called us family and said that we are all her aunts, and it was great to see them,” Ho said.

Mounga has been discharged, but Baby Raymond will remain in the NICU until he is ready to go home.

“It has become very heavy,” Mounga said. “I am very lucky right now that there were three NICU nurses and a doctor on the plane to help me, and help stabilize him and make sure he was alright for the duration of the flight.”

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