We’re crazy impressed right now with Dr. Angelica Zen, a physician from Los Angeles who delivered a baby while she was en route home from her honeymoon. And oh yeah, she did it ON AN AIRPLANE, you guys!
Dr. Zen and her brand new hubby were coming home to California from their honeymoon in Bali, when a passenger aboard the plane went into labor. Since the plane was midair over the Pacific Ocean (!), Dr. Zen stepped up to the plate and helped the woman, even though she’d never performed an unassisted delivery before. Dr. Zen is in her fourth year of residency at UCLA. Her training is in internal medicine pediatrics, and until her insanely eventful flight home from Taiwan, she’d only delivered two babies, both under the supervision of other doctors.
She was doing what most of us do on long flights—sleeping—when she heard an announcement asking if there was a doctor aboard the flight. She told the Associated Press, “They initially told me it was just a lady having some abdominal pain, so I thought it was going to be something simple. But when I saw her she was, like, very pregnant.”
Oops. I guess they forgot to mention that part. Even so, Dr. Zen says her new husband (an engineer who we’re assuming has delivered zero babies) seemed more nervous than she was. (Aw, so sweet!) Dr. Zen remained calm and got to work, even though there wasn’t even a bed in sight. The poor expectant mom had to deliver her baby on the floor of the plane. Edmund Chen, a fellow passenger, filmed the baby’s birth from one row back. The video is crazy to watch. The flight attendants are all acting as birthing assistants. When the newborn (a girl!) lets out her first cry, all the passengers applaud. TBH, the whole thing has gotten us a little misty-eyed.
To add crazy onto crazy, as Dr. Zen told ABC News, most of the passengers slept through the delivery and didn’t even wake up until the cabin lights came on for descent. As a result of the, you know, surprise birth, the plane was diverted to Alaska and the mom and her baby daughter were taken to a hospital, and Dr. Zen was finally able to breathe easy.
“When the baby came out healthy, I was just very relieved,” she said.
Be proud, Dr. Zen. You nailed it.
The brave of heart can check out the video below:
[Image via video. Video via Edmund Chen/Associated Press.]