Hero doctor delivers premature baby on plane after mum goes into labour

A hero doctor helped to deliver a premature baby on a plane after a mum went into labour early mid-flight thousands of feet up in the sky.

Inshad Ibrahim had been flying from London Heathrow to Kochi, India for a family holiday when a flight attendant asked all passengers: "Is there a doctor on board?"

Mum-to-be Maria Philip had gone into labour two hours into the flight while seven months pregnant after experiencing pains shortly after take-off.

Inshad, who works at Wrexham Maelor Hospital’s Emergency Department, leapt into action and discovered Maria's waters had broken.

Staff created a makeshift delivery suite with pillows and clothes in the area of the plane usually reserved for preparing food.

With the help of other medical professionals on board, they were able to safely deliver little Shawn Michael into the world, weighing just 2.4lbs.

Fellow passengers gave their clothes to keep the baby warm while the plane rediverted and made an emergency landing in Frankfurt.

Mother and baby were taken to hospital to be checked over and they have now recently returned home after a one month stay in Germany.

Inshad had been travelling to southern India with his wife and children, aged just three and six-months old, when the drama unfolded back in October.

Recalling the incident for the first time, Inshad, who lives in Wrexham, north Wales, said: “Other medical staff on the plane also volunteered to help.

"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 gave 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 she 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 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 her 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.

“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.”

A spokesperson for Air India said at the time: "Kudos to our crew and special salute to doctors and medical staff on board for making this easy for the mother.

"Our aircraft is well equipped with all necessary medical equipment and our crew are experienced to handle this kind of eventuality.

"Our officials are in constant touch with the family and all necessary support is being provided. Soon they will be flying home with us.

"May god bless the baby with a healthy and long life."

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