Mom Gives Birth During 11-Hour Flight That Happened To Have Doctor On Board

Mason Joseph Zimmer
newborn baby being swaddled on plane
twitter | @zhikayikejunior

Although we certainly have more advanced ways of telling when and how a new baby will arrive than our grandparents did when they were starting families, that doesn't mean nature can't still give us some surprises.

After all, it's possible to carry a baby to term without even knowing you're pregnant, so it's definitely possible for a pregnancy to cross the finish line earlier than we expect.

And when that happens, it can lead to some amazing stories of moms who delivered their own babies and others who met some unlikely heroes to do that for them.

But sometimes, the most incredible story comes from a burst of unexpected good luck after things suddenly get worrying. And luck definitely seemed to be on one new mom from Ghana's side.

On January 30, United Flight 997 was making its way to Dulles International Airport near Washington D.C. from Accra, Ghana.

plane from United Airlines flying
Wikimedia Commons | N509FZ

According to Insider, one woman aboard the flight was expected to give birth in late February, but suddenly found herself going into labor while the plane was halfway across the Atlantic Ocean.

Fortunately, it seems she couldn't have picked a better flight to board before going through this situation.

doctor, flight attendant and pregnant passenger on plane
twitter | @zhikayikejunior

That's because the passenger we could see standing here happened to be Dr. Stephen Ansah-Addo, who was returning to his practice in the United States. Moreover, one of the flight attendants used to be a nurse.

Together, they created a makeshift maternity ward in the plane's business class section.

And thanks to their expertise, the delivery of the woman's newborn son went as smoothly as it possibly could have.

newborn baby being swaddled on plane
twitter | @zhikayikejunior

As a representative from United Airlines told ABC News, "The delivery was uneventful other than being at 30,000 feet."

The only hitch that seemed to arise was that there was no clamp to clip the baby's umbilical cord, so the team resorted to using string instead.

Both mother and child were taken to a local hospital after the plane landed and both are reportedly doing well.

doctor posing with swaddled baby he delivered on plane
twitter | @zhikayikejunior

And while Addo still finds it hard to process that this situation unfolded while he was there, the experience turned out to be affirming for him.

In his words, "This is the reason why you go into medicine, to help people. This is someone that really needed help, because there was nobody else there. This is the kind of medicine where you can make a difference in people's lives."

h/t: Insider, ABC News