A baby born on a plane on Thursday caused an emergency diversion to Alaska. The Chinese Airlines flight was scheduled to fly from Taiwan to Los Angeles. The flight did eventually get to Los Angeles but not before a miracle occurred at 30,000 feet over the Pacific Ocean.
The Chinese Airlines flight was only six hours into its 14-hour flight when a woman in her 32nd week of pregnancy began to go into labor. Luckily, the baby that was born on a plane was delivered by a doctor. Doctor Angelica Zen was on her honeymoon in Bali and was heading back home. Zen is an internist at UCLA, and she had never delivered a baby before. Besides being a doctor, Zen also was able to communicate with the mother in Mandarin. The flight attendants assisted Dr. Zen by acting as nurses during the plane birth.
“It was very difficult. We had to work under very constraining circumstances. My training is in internal medicine pediatrics so we do adults and kids, but really no pregnant women at all, so since my training we haven’t done much OBGYN. I was a little bit nervous.”
By the time the baby was delivered, the Chinese Airline pilots were thirty minutes away from Anchorage, Alaska. Due to the emergency onboard, the plane was looking to land at the nearest airport, and that was in Alaska. Once the plane landed in Anchorage, mom and baby were transported to a local hospital. Both the baby born the plane and the mother were said to be in good condition. The Chinese Airlines plane continued on its journey and landed in Los Angeles.
Edmund Chun was also on the plane from Taiwan to Los Angeles. Chun was able to use his phone to capture a video of the baby being born on the plane.
“I just thought it was an amazing experience to see someone giving birth right in front of me – I mean.”
Three weeks ago, a similar birth happened, but it was not in the air. It was at sea. It was reported by Inquisitr that Haiden Morgan was born 15 weeks premature on a Royal Caribbean International cruise ship. Haiden weighed only one pound. Initially, doctors told the babies mother, Emily Morgan, that the baby had died. Doctors noticed, moments later, that Haiden was alive, struggling for every breath. The cruise ship was in the middle of the ocean, 100 miles away from land, and was not equipped with the medical supplies needed for a premature childbirth. The captain decided the best option was to divert the cruise ship to Puerto Rico. Once in Puerto Rico, the baby and mother were taken to a hospital in order to stabilize Haiden. Emily and Haiden were then flown to a children’s hospital in Miami, Florida. Haiden will remain a patient there until sometime in December.
Births on planes, or cruise ships, are rare, but this baby that was born on a plane has a problem that has political ramifications. The mother of the baby is a citizen of Taiwan. The baby was born over international water, and the plane landed in a part of the United States. What country will this baby be a citizen of? Amira Rajput, another passenger on the plane, stated that a United States Border Patrol agent stopped to make sure the mother had a valid passport.
“He told me that this is something foreign women do, to try and deliver overseas for citizenship,” Rajput said. “This is a political issue. People die to come to this country.”
Should the baby born on a plane be considered a citizen of the United States?
[Image via CNN YouTube Channel Screen Capture/Edmund Chen]