Nigerian banker gives birth on Air France flight

A Nigeria woman gave birth on board a flight after she went into labour a week earlier than her delivery date.

Toyin Ogundipe delivered her son, Jake, in mid-air about 35,000 feet above sea level. The 41-year-old and her daughter, 4, were aboard an Air France flight heading to New York.

She is a banker resident in the United Kingdom and was making the trip from the French capital, Paris, to New York in December last year.

It took the intervention of two “medical passengers” to rescue the situation. A second-year urology resident, Dr. Sij Hemal and a French paediatrician, Stefanie Ortolan.

The pair were ushered into a coach where Ogundipe was, at the time she was having a series of contractions. The U.K. Mailonline who carried the story said the doctors conducted necessary tests and decided to monitor her situation.

Dr. Hemal said a cervix exam enabled them to know that they were going to deliver the child in the air.

“My initial plan was to monitor her and her vitals, but we did a cervical exam and that’s when her water broke.

“That’s when we knew we were going to deliver on the plane,” he added. The doctor said he used a shoestring to tie Jake’s umbilical cord after delivery.

Ogundipe and her son – who holds U.S. citizenship, because he was born in U.S. airspace – were checked into a nearby hospital when they arrived in New York but they were discharged same day.

“I was relaxed because I knew I was in safe hands,” Ogundipe said in a later interview. “They did everything a doctor or midwife would have done if I was in the labor room in the hospital. Even better, if you ask me.”

In April last year, cabin crew on board a Turkish Airline flight from Guinea’s capital Conakry to Instanbul in Turkey helped deliver a premature baby girl 42,000 feet mid-air.

The expectant mother, Guinean Nafi Diaby was 28 weeks pregnant and suffered labour pains after takeoff last Friday, leaving the cabin crew and some passengers no option but to deliver her of the baby.

Africa News

Gary Murambiwa
the authorGary Murambiwa