Wrexham doctor helps deliver baby on plane at 30,000 ft

  • Watch the video report by Ian Lang

An off-duty doctor stepped in to help deliver a baby on a plane at 30,000 ft when a fellow passenger went into labour on a flight to India.

Inshad Ibrahim, who works in Wrexham Maelor Hospital's Emergency Department, had been travelling with his family to the country.

But two hours into the nine-hour flight, the crew asked whether there was a doctor onboard.

He and others helped deliver the baby of a woman who had only been seven months pregnant.

When Inshad volunteered, he was taken to the woman who seemed in pain from the turbulence they were experiencing on the plane.

Inshad said: "Other medical staff on the plane also volunteered to help, and when we examined the woman, we saw her waters had broken, and we told the crew that this was an emergency and we needed space.

"The cabin crew turned an area which they normally prepare the food in into a delivery room for us with pillows and clothes.

"When we examined her, half the head of the baby was already out. The baby was very small but wasn't making a sound, so I tapped his back and after about 15-20 seconds he opened his eyes and cried. That was a very long 15-20 seconds."

The baby was named Shawn Michael and weighed 2.4lbs. Credit: Inshad Ibrahim

Passengers gave their clothes to keep the baby warm, consoled the new father of Shawn, and helped Inshad's wife care for their own two children.

Inshad added: "The baby seemed ok, good blood flow and sucking reflex, but we still had seven hours to go before reaching our destination.

"The pilot asked could I look after them during that time, but the baby needed neonatal care urgently, so I asked could we land at a nearby airport as I couldn't guarantee their help would be ok until we got to India.

"We did an emergency landing in Frankfurt and the mother, her husband and baby were rushed to the hospital from there."

Credit: Inshad Ibrahim

He said: "It was an amazing experience, a celebratory moment for all the passengers. Everyone was so happy and excited.

"We all consoled and helped her husband too, and passengers helped my wife with our two children during the flight too. We became close family."

The baby stayed in Frankfurt hospital for one month, and has only recently returned home.

Inshad was on his way to Kochi for a holiday with his family. He returned home a few weeks later, and worked over Christmas at Wrexham Maelor Emergency Department.

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