Apr 5, 2012

First-time mom gives birth on board plane

 Katherine Oyedoh and  baby Ebosalume 
Unfortunately for expectant mothers, babies tend to arrive at the most inopportune moment.
For first-time mom Katherine Oyedoh who was 37 weeks pregnant, that moment happened to be 36,000 feet in the air somewhere between Atlanta and Senegal at 3.20am.
A Delta flight attendant for the last 30 years, Susan Carnes, from Tampa, Florida, had never encountered a mid-air pregnancy, but she knew what was happening as soon as she saw a heavily pregnant Mrs Oyedoh leaning over and moaning on the March 23 flight.

 
Speaking to Fox News she said: 'I saw her and just the way she was leaned over and moaning, I just knew. I said, do you feel like your water has broken and she said "Yes", and that's when I knew, okay we're having a baby.'
Calling out for a medical professional, Dr Patrick Ojukwu, an OB/GYN from Stockbridge, Georgia, immediately volunteered, and Susan was assigned the role of his assistant.
Trying to improvise with what they had at their disposal, Susan took a pair of scissors from her galley gear bag, gloves, paper towels, hot towels and shoe strings donated by a passenger to help cut the umbilical chord.
Passengers offered to help her in whatever way they could, with one monitoring Mrs Oyedoh's blood pressure, another sterilizing the makeshift medical equipment in vodka and another timing her contractions on his watch.
Susan said of Mrs Oyedoh: 'She was very strong. She was very scared at first. She was traveling alone, and she was in a public place, having a baby. On an airplane, how crazy is that?'
The first-time mother was due on April 13, but she got clearance from her doctor for the March 23 flight.
The medical team: Dr Patrick Ojukwu, an OB/GYN from Stockbridge, Georgia, far left, delivered the baby with the help of Susan, centre, and other passengers


'When the baby came out the doctor hands him to me and says tie it (the umbilical chord). So I got the shoestring and tied it again and again and got the scissors and snip snip snip was all it took. Then the doctor handed me the baby and I was like "OH MY GOD".'
The baby boy, who was named Edosalume, was bundled up and placed on his mom's chest, with a bassinet made from newspapers and thick paper towels.
Susan told Fox: 'I took the baby to hand it over and I lifted him across the seats. And as I did, I noticed everyone was looking at me, and I just raised it up and said, "It's a boy!" And the whole airplane broke out into applause and laughter.'
Fifteen minutes later, the plane landed after it was diverted to Dakar, Senegal. Mom and baby were taken to the hospital and are expected to fly back to the U.S. tomorrow.
Father Greg is at home in California and has not met his son yet but will look forward to doing so tomorrow.