HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The passengers and crew on board a Delta Air Lines flight from Salt Lake City to Honolulu got a big surprise recently at 30,000 feet.
And he came in a really tiny package.
Baby Raymond and mom, Lavi Mounga, are now resting peacefully at Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children, but just four days ago, they were part of a mid-air emergency.
“It happened with about three hours left in flight and people were like why don’t you do an emergency landing,” said passenger Julia Hansen.
Passengers on the flight were unsure what was happening.
“We’re like, we are above the Pacific Ocean, there’s nowhere to land,” Hansen said.
Lani Bamfield, Mimi Ho and Amanda Beeding were on a girls’ trip to paradise. Bamfield was the first to approach the bathroom, where the calls for help were coming from.
“Oh my God, help, we need a doctor, medical help and we kind of looked at each other like, what is going on,” Bamfield said.
She added, “I went up and went back there and she was holding a baby at the bottom like underneath the toilet almost and so I am like ‘Mimi, there is a baby and it’s little.’”
But coincidentally, these weren’t just any passengers — the trio are all NICU nurses from north Kansas.
“That definitely means something to us because we work in the NICU,” Ho said.
But the story gets better. Also on board — Dr. Dale Glenn, a family medicine physician for Hawaii Pacific Health.
“It was fairly urgent, so I looked around trying to figure out where the emergency was, and I tapped the flight attendant and said, ‘OK, I am a physician, what can I do to help,” Dr. Glenn said.
Glenn described the miraculous turn of events.
“I don’t know how a patient gets so lucky as to have three neonatal intensive care nurses on board the same flight when she is in emergency labor, but that was the situation we were in,” Glenn said.
He used his skills to improvise using what he had on the plane to care for baby Raymond, born premature at just 29 weeks. Mom didn’t even know she was pregnant.
“We made baby warmers out of bottles that were microwaved we used an Apple watch to monitor the heart rate. We used blankets and other things to create a little incubator for baby,” Glenn said.
Passengers on board said it was not chaotic at all.
“All the nurses were very ready to help and like make sure the baby’s temperature was going up,” said passenger Sierra Rowlan.
Once on the ground, baby Raymond was rushed to the NICU at Kapiolani, and on Friday — the emotional reunion.
“As soon as she started tearing up, 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.
Mom said she was grateful that the nurses and doctor were at the right place at the right time.
“I am just happy he is here and is doing well and feeling lucky and blessed,” Lavinia “Lavi” Mounga said.