- Chelsea Todaro, Palm Beach Post
A woman who was 36 weeks pregnant gave birth to a baby boy on a Spirit Airlines flight from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and Spirit gave him a big birthday present.
The Miami Herald reported that Christina Penton’s baby now has free Spirit flights for life after Penton went into labor within 30 minutes into the Dallas-bound flight on Saturday.
When Penton notified flight attendants that she wasn’t feeling well, attendants went into action and notified doctors on the ground to see if any medical professional were on board. Luckily a pediatrician and a nurse were on the flight, the Herald reported.
“Soon after that, it was clear I was having my baby, and I was in pure panic,” Penton said in a press release.
Pilots diverted the flight to New Orleans International Airport so Penton could meet with medical personnel on the ground, but the baby could not wait and was delivered on the plane.
Christoph Lezcano weighed 7 pounds and measured 19.5 inches long.
“It went really, really quick. There was no time to prepare or land or do anything,” Penton said, according to CNN. “He did what he wanted. We were all just along for the ride.”
Shelley Hedgecock Starks, a passenger on the flight, captured footage of the newborn in his mother’s arms as a nurse tied the baby’s umbilical cord. Starks can be heard on the video saying that the mother asked her to record video.
The video was posted to Facebook and has more than 100,000 views.
“I don’t think there has been a baby birth on a plane before so this is very special,” the woman can be heard saying in the video.
“A baby being born during a flight is very rare, but our flight attendants are trained to handle medical emergencies in flight and they have access to doctors on the ground via in-flight communication,” Spirit Airlines spokesman Paul Berry told CNN.
“In this case we were fortunate to also have a pediatrician on board who brought even more care and comfort to the situation,” Berry said.
Baby Christoph will have free birthday flights for life.