Cabin crew and passengers helped to deliver the baby boy after the mum went into labor weeks before her due date onboard a United Airlines flight between Accra, Ghana, and Washington, DC
An airline passenger gave birth at 30,000 feet during a transatlantic flight.
The new mum was not due until the end of the month but suddenly went into labor on Sunday during an 11-hour United Airlines flight between Accra, Ghana, and Washington, DC.
Dr Stephen Ansah-Addo, who was heading home to the US, teamed up with a medically-trained member of the cabin crew and a nurse to deliver the baby boy in business class.
But when it came to cutting the umbilical cord the makeshift midwives didn’t have any clamps so used string.
The airline said the delivery was “uneventful”.
Paramedics were waiting to take the exhausted mum and her child to a local hospital when the flight landed at Dulles International Airport.
The airline had also arranged for an employee to greet the mum with a balloon and a card that read “On behalf of the United team at Washington Dulles, congratulations on your baby boy!”
Dr Ansah-Addo – who works as a dermatology resident at the University of Michigan – responded to calls from cabin crew for a doctor.
He told ABC News: “I couldn’t believe it was happening. But I was trying to stay calm.
“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.”
Fellow passenger Nancy Adobea Anane, during an interview on NBC News Now, said: “We realized that behind me there was a woman in distress.
“The pilot mentioned that if there were medical personnel on board they should come around and give us their assistance because someone needed help.
“Right behind the business class they converted it into an operation room of some sort and one of them said ‘oh, I can see the head!’ They got really, really excited.
“And then the baby came out and it started crying and we were all elated. The mother was good and she was able to see the baby.
“It was my first time on United Airlines and trust me it was quite an eventful and beautiful experience,” she added.
Blogger Zhikay Ikejunior was also onboard and posted photos of the aftermath of the delivery on Twitter.
He wrote: “A Ghanaian doctor practicing in the United States of America was the hero of the day.”
A United Airlines spokesperson told the Independent: “We were especially thrilled to see the plane land with one extra, especially beautiful, customer onboard.”
The airline has since said that both the mother and the baby boy were doing well.
The Mirror has contacted United Airlines for further comment.