A woman who was unaware of her own pregnancy gave birth on a flight from Salt Lake City to Honolulu!
Per a press release from Hawaii Pacific Health, Lavinia “Lavi” Mounga unexpectedly gave birth to her son Raymond last week aboard a Delta flight.
According to a GoFundMe created by Lavi’s sisters over the weekend, Lavi “did not know she was pregnant so she was just as shocked as the rest of us when our nephew was born!”
Hawaii Pacific Health family medicine physician Dr. Dale Glenn — who helped with the delivery alongside North Kansas City Hospital NICU nurses Lani Bamfield, Amanda Beeding, and Mimi Ho — recalled an emergency call halfway through the flight asking if there was a doctor on board.
“This call… was fairly urgent. I let the flight attendant know that I’m a physician and she said we have a woman having a baby, so I hurried over to see what I could do,” he said in the release.
Fortunately, Bamfield, Beeding, and Ho — who are trained to care for premature or ill babies needing intensive care — were already on the scene.
“We were about halfway through the flight and we heard someone call out for medical help,” says Bamfield. “I went to see what was going on and see her there holding a baby in her hands, and it’s little.”
For the remainder of the flight, Bamfield, Beeding, and Ho worked with Dr. Glenn to take care of mom and baby.
“The great thing about this was the teamwork. Everybody jumped in together and everyone helped out,” Dr. Glenn continued.
“Basically, you need somebody to watch the mom, too, because we have two patients, not just one. So someone’s got to help cut the cord, someone’s got to help deliver the placenta, we’ve got to check vital signs on mom,” he explained.
“Meanwhile we’re trying to resuscitate baby, make sure baby’s breathing, get baby warmed up. That’s a lot of work to do, and we’re all trying to work in a very small, confined space in an airplane, which is pretty challenging. But the teamwork was great.”
Upon landing in Honolulu, medical response teams were waiting to help get mom and baby to Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children.
The event was also captured in a now-viral TikTok video shot by user @juliabernice!
It’s the ‘baby being born while we’re above the Pacific Ocean’ for me♬ original sound - Julia Hansen
Last Friday, Bamfield, Beeding, Ho, and Glenn had an emotional reunion with Lavi and her bundle of joy!
“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.
“It has been very overwhelming, and I’m just so lucky that there were three NICU nurses and a doctor on the plane to help me, and help stabilize him and make sure he was OK for the duration of the flight,” Lavi added.
Per the release, Lavi has since been discharged, but baby Raymond will remain in the NICU until he’s ready to fly home to Utah.
“The experience here has been so good,” Lavi said. “Everybody’s so nice and the aloha spirit you feel here is very different from the mainland. It just feels comforting and everyone’s willing to help and always checking in on us.”
As of this writing, Lavi’s GoFundMe — aimed at raising funds for her medical bills — has raised more than $9,000.
Congratulations to Lavi on your new addition!