Friday, January 2, 2009

Ugandan Mom Gives Birth Midair over Canada, Names Baby Sasha

That headline makes it sound like the Ugandan woman may have been flying under her own power when she gave birth to a baby girl, but the mom was on a flight from Amsterdam to Boston, somewhere over Canada, when the child was born. Fortunately, experts were on that flight:
Two doctors aboard Northwest Airlines flight 59 sprang into action when the call came across the Boeing 757's public address system for a medical emergency. The physicians found a woman 8-1/2 months pregnant and moaning with severe abdominal pain. She was obviously in labor and the child's head had already crowned, according to the doctors.

As the plane cruised somewhere over Canada, the doctors laid the woman across a row of seats in coach class while a husband and wife from Danvers held up a blanket to create a makeshift delivery room. Flight attendants grabbed a medical bag and handed the doctors surgical gloves, a clamp, and scissors. At about 9 a.m., the woman gave birth to a 6-1/2 pound baby girl she named Sasha.

"She looked perfect," said Dr. Paresh Thakkar, a family physician from Methuen. "She opened her eyes and was very happy. She was so calm, she didn't cry at all." (
This is a lovely New Year's story, and in the CNN video below you'll hear how the passengers offered help, including baby food for the newborn.

I wonder if the mother's decision to name the girl Sasha has anything to do with world admiration for the Obamas. I recall that shortly after Barack Obama's victory in November, African parents began naming their children Barack or Michelle, depending on gender. Perhaps this mother liked the name of younger Obama daughter, Sasha.

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