When the plane took off, Lavinia “Lavi” Mounga was headed for a family vacation, but unbeknownst to even herself, that family was about to get one bouncing baby boy bigger. The soon-to-be mom had no idea she was already 29 weeks along. “I just didn’t know I was pregnant, and then Raymond (the baby) just came out of nowhere,” Mounga said.
Halfway through the fateful trip, the crew made an announcement seeking out medical personnel to help with an emergency.
Serendipitously, the passenger manifest included not only Hawaii Pacific Health physician Dr. Dale Glenn, but a trio of neonatal nurses, Lani Bamfield, Amanda Beeding, and Mimi Ho, who all work at Missouri’s North Kansas City Hospital.
Without proper neonatal equipment, Dr. Glenn and the nurses had to come up with some creative solutions to keep baby Raymond stable for the remainder of the three-hour flight.
Thanks to a mixture of wilderness training and ingenuity involving shoelaces, microwaved warming bottles, and an Apple Watch heart monitor, the newborn made it to Hawaii in good form.
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“I don’t know how a patient gets so lucky as to have three neonatal intensive care nurses onboard the same flight when she is in emergency labor, but that was the situation we were in,” Dr. Glenn relayed in a hospital statement. “The great thing about this was the teamwork. Everybody jumped in together and everyone helped out.”
Passenger Julia Hansen captured the blessed event for posterity with a TikTok video that includes a rousing round of applause for mom, baby, and her medical guardian angels, and has been seen more than 15 million times by viewers around the world.
When the plane touched down it was met on the tarmac by a medical response who whisked mother and son to Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children.
As a premie, Raymond was placed in their neonatal intensive care unit where it’s reported he’s doing just fine.
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Since his birth was unexpected, in lieu of a baby shower, Mounga’s sisters have set up a GoFundMe campaign to help with the expenses of their nephew’s unticketed entrance into the world.
(WATCH the NBC video about this story below.)
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