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‘Miracle at 36,000 Feet’ Mom Delivers Baby On Plane
An airline passenger’s photo has gone viral after she posted a snapshot of a fellow traveler holding the baby she gave birth to while 36,000 feet in the sky.
“You could call it an uneventful flight, if you want to … but it wasn’t,'” Missy Berberabe Umandal of Makati, Philippines, wrote to ABC News today.
“It was such a heartening moment. Mothers don’t get as much credit as they do, and that mother who gave birth on a plane was truly a wonderful woman.”
Umandal said she was flying home with her mother via Cebu Pacific Airlines to the Philippines from Dubai, when a woman went into labor merely “feet” away from her.
The airline confirmed to ABC News today that the baby was born premature at 32 weeks approximately four hours after the flight’s departure from the Dubai International Airport on Aug. 14. The mother and baby were assisted by the flight crew and two registered nurses who were passengers that day.
The aircraft was diverted to India to ensure both mom and child would receive proper medical attention.
“Throughout my 11 years of flying, this is certainly the most special,” a member of the flight’s lead cabin crew said in a soundbite released to ABC News. “Our team was calm and collected and did what they were trained to do to help.
“… We are blessed to have been an instrument in your safe delivery,” he added in a message to the mother. “You will always be my most memorable passenger.”
While flying, Umandal, 20, photographed the touching moment when the mother held her new daughter for the first time. Umandal then posted it on Facebook, where it received thousands of shares.
“I was definitely surprised by the amount of shares, likes, and compliments I received from family, friends, and even strangers around the world,” she said. “It was actually meant to be private, just for friends, really.”
Umandel added: “Witnessing that event has changed me in more ways than one. I wanted to be able to touch the lives of others by narrating a story of how a miracle came to be.”
The mom from the airplane is declining press interviews at this time, according to Cebu Pacific. In celebration of the baby girl’s birth, the airline has awarded her and her family with one million, non-expiring “GetGo” points, which can be used to fly for free.
Umandel is in touch with the sister and brother of the woman who gave birth and hopes to meet all of them in person, she said.