Healthcare Workers Recount How They Helped Woman Give Birth on Flight to Hawaii: 'We Got to Work'

·4 min read

Michael Rozman/Warner Bros.

Five healthcare heroes are recalling the harrowing experience of helping a woman that did not know she was pregnant give birth to her baby on a recent flight to Hawaii.

During Monday's episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, new mom Lavinia "Lavi" Mounga of Orem, Utah reunited virtually with the group of healthcare workers who were passengers on the Delta Airlines flight from Salt Lake City to Honolulu late last month where her surprise birth took place.

Lavi, who is now mom to a healthy baby boy named Raymond, explained to Ellen DeGeneres that she had initially felt unwell before the flight, not even knowing that she was pregnant.

"At the airport I was feeling kind of sick, just my stomach," said Lavi. "But then got on the plane and I just couldn't settle in to fall asleep. I got up, was having cramps, went to the restroom. I was in there for a while and my water broke. I didn't know then, but I know now. "

"I passed out for a while," said Lavi, adding that before she knew it, her baby boy had arrived.

"Just like the best surprise and shock of my life," the new mom told DeGeneres, 63.

Michael Rozman/Warner Bros. Lavinia "Lavi" Mounga

Hawaii Pacific Health Lavi Mounga and Dr. Dale Glenn

RELATED: Woman Who Was Unaware of Pregnancy Gives Birth on Flight with Help From Nurses, Doctor: 'Lucky'

But luckily for Lavi, her unconventional childbirth was made a lot easier thanks to the five onboard medical professionals: Dr. Dale Glenn, a family medicine physician with Hawaii Pacific Health, his daughter Lindsay, a physician's assistant, and NICU nurses Lani Bamfield, Amanda Beeding and Mimi Ho.

"I just heard someone yelling 'medical, medical!' I jumped up from my seat and ran to the bathroom and it was her sister-in-law who was standing outside and she said, 'She just gave birth,'" Lindsay recalled. "Opened the door and there was Lavi holding her tiny little baby. Within seconds Lani was there and she said, 'We're NICU nurses.' And I was like, 'Oh good, we're going to be just fine. We got this.' And we got to work."

Hawaii Pacific Health Lavinia “Lavi” Mounga with Lani Bamfield, Mimi Ho and Amanda Beeding

NICU nurse Lani said that she immediately got involved by taking her blanket and rubbing down baby Raymond to stimulate him.

"We're NICU nurses, so that's what we do in a hospital in a regular delivery. Not on an airplane normally," Lani explained. "So we started stimulating him and then Mimi and Amanda were right behind me and they're like, 'Are you good?' And I'm like, 'No, there's a baby and he's little.' So they come back and we were able to use a shoe string to cut off the cord and Amanda took over with the mom and we brought baby Raymond down to the floor to get to work."

Hawaii Pacific Health

Hawaii Pacific Health

Dr. Glenn also stepped in to help, telling DeGeneres that he rushed to the middle of the plane and found that the NICU nurses "were doing a great job taking care of" baby Raymond and Lavi.

However, at first, baby Raymond "was not breathing well," Dr. Glenn recalled. "He was a very small baby, less than three pounds. He was having trouble breathing and his color was a little bit dark."

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Hawaii Pacific Health Lavinia “Lavi” Mounga and Dr. Dale Glenn

Michael Rozman/Warner Bros.

"We started looking to see what we had on the airplane and nothing we had there was designed for a premature baby," said Dr. Glenn. "So we had to start making our own equipment. We had one passenger give us the shoelace to cut the cord, another passenger gave us a sock that was clean to use as a hat. We made an oxygen mask out of the equipment we had there from the airplane oxygen. We used an Apple Watch for a short time as a heart monitor. We asked for a thermometer, we were using plastic bags and blankets, and a lot of people stepped in to help so we could get this baby a lot safer."

Later on in the segment, DeGeneres announced that Shutterfly would be giving away a plethora of Mother's Day gifts to Lavi, including $10,000 to Lavi herself and $5,000 to each of the five healthcare heroes that helped deliver baby Raymond.

"Thank you," Lavi said, in tears over the generous gifts.

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