Birth on board: Hero doctor helps deliver premature baby mid-flight
A heroic doctor was there to save the day when a seven months pregnant mum-to-be went into labour mid-flight.
The man of the hour, Inshad Ibrahim, was flying from London Heathrow to Kochi in India in October 2021 for a family holiday when a flight attendant asked all passengers,"Is there a doctor on board?"
The pregnant woman, Maria Philip, had gone into labour prematurely, two hours into the flight, after experiencing pains shortly after take off.
Inshad, who works at Wrexham Maelor Hospital's Emergency Department, jumped up to help and discovered Maria's waters had broken, realising he was about to help deliver a baby.
He has now explained what happened for the first time since the event.
The aircraft's staff also assisted by turning the area of the plane usually reserved for food preparation, into an improvised delivery suite, made comfortable with pillows and clothes, he recalls.
With the support of other medical professionals on board, they worked as a team to safely deliver baby Shawn Michael into the world (or into the sky), weighing just 2.4lbs.
"When we examined her, half the head of the baby was already out," said Inshad.
"The baby was very small but he wasn't making a sound, so I tapped his back and after about 15-20 seconds he opened his eyes and cried.
"That was a very long 15-20 seconds. The baby seemed ok, good blood flow and suckling reflex, but we still had seven hours to go before reaching our destination."
Passengers stepped into help too, donating their clothes to help keep the newborn warm while the plane re-diverted, making an emergency landing in Frankfurt. The mother and baby were rushed to the hospital for checks, who have both now recently returned home after a month stay in Germany.
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"It was an amazing experience, a celebratory moment for all the passengers, everyone was so happy and excited," said Inshad.
"We all consoled and helped her husband too, and passengers helped my wife with out two children during the flight too. We became close family."
Inshad, who lives in Wrexham, in north Wales, had been travelling with his own family, his wife and young children, aged just three and six-months old.
A spokesperson for Air India said at the time: "Kudos to our crew and special salute to doctors and medical staff on board for making this easy for the mother.
"Our aircraft is well equipped with all necessary medical equipment and our crew are experienced to handle this kind of eventuality.
"Our officials are in constant touch with the family and all necessary support is being provided. Soon they will be flying home with us.
"May god bless the baby with a healthy and long life."
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