Babies are born everyday. But one special girl was born high in the sky. Welcome to the world and also, to Earth, baby Haven!
A couple flying from Dubai to Manila aboard Phillippine airline Cebu Pacific didn’t think they would have had an abnormal flight. After all, she had five weeks before her due date and didn’t think the nine hour flight would be too stressful. Boy, was she in for a surprise.
Four hours in, the miracle of life decided it had to happen, and not just soon. Now.
Crew member Mark Martin was startled at the passenger who needed the help. She was the first to ever have gone into labor in the carrier’s history.
But Haven’s deliver wasn’t just a once in a lifetime achievement: she had a lot on her side. Two nurses were aboard the plane who quickly came to the young mother’s aid.
They moved the mother to the front of the plane carefully, using the extra space at the forward end of the aircraft to give her extra room to push. The delivery was incredible fast, especially given the nature of the situation. Said passenger Missy Berberabe Umandal, “We only heard one semi-loud screech, and a few seconds later there were tinier, cute screeches, and it was when we knew the baby was born.”
Flight attendants washed the infant with mineral water.
And just like that, the rest of the plane was involved and reached out to be as helpful as possible.
Umandal continues her recollection of the event: “Moments later, the woman got up to go back to her seat, baby in arms (mighty strong, I might say). There were two other babies with us in the front row, and one of the passengers had a suitcase full of infant clothes and necessities, which could not have come at a better time.”
What did the other passengers on the flight think of the incredible birth story? Well, many were simply in awe. Said Umandal, “It only happens in movies, and we’re lucky to witness this miracle.”
Still, early on Sunday and high above the Earth, the crew knew the mother and daughter needed help as soon as possible. The flight was diverted to an airport at the available landing strip at Hyderabad, India to make sure the premie and mother would be safe.
This flight change added an additional nine hours, making the flight time three-quarters of a day at 18 hours. But the passengers were a team. “No complaints,” Umandal noted, “Everyone in that plane was blessed.”
Most young parents get gifts in advance of the baby’s birth in the form of shower presents. But with Haven’s incredible survival story, Lance Gokongwei, Cebu Pacific’s CEO, knew that he had to do something a little extra special.
For the first ever baby born aboard Cebu, he gave the proud parents a million GetGo points. GetGo is the airline’s rewards program. A typical passenger would have to spend roughly over $100,000 to get the same amount. But for a once in a lifetime baby, it was worth it.
Will they be flying again soon? Well, there might be a while for anyone who had experienced such a dramatic event. Certainly many who have flown with simple turbulence would be hesitant! But these parents, as you can imagine, are both strong and exceptional.
Flight worker Martin summed up the experience perfectly, saying:
“To baby Haven. You are God’s miracle at 36,000ft, and we’re blessed to have been an instrument in your safe delivery. You will always be my most memorable passenger.”