Published on : Tuesday, June 27, 2017
Experiencing a little turbulence during air travel is not uncommon. But giving birth to a baby during a flight is a whole different kind of turbulence. That’s what took place on a recent Spirit flight. Originally, Spirit flight 971 was to go from Ft. Lauderdale to Dallas/Ft. Worth. But about thirty minutes into the flight, Cristina Penton of Phoenix, Arizona, who was 36 weeks pregnant, told flight attendants she wasn’t feeling well and asked for medical assistance.
“Everything started happening very quickly,” said Penton. “I didn’t think I was having the baby because it was too soon, but after a few minutes I knew I needed medical attention. The flight attendants contacted doctors on the ground and they advised the flight attendants to see if there were any medical personnel on board. As it turned out there was a pediatrician and a nurse. Soon after that, it was clear I was having my baby, and I was in pure panic.”
The flight was diverted to New Orleans Louis Armstrong Airport (MSY), and emergency medical crews were summoned to meet the plane upon arrival. However, before the plane could land, baby Christoph Lezcano was born on the aircraft. He weighed in at an even 7 pounds and was 19.5 inches tall. Both were taken to Ochsner Medical Center in Kenner, Louisiana. Both mother and baby are fine.
“A baby being born during a flight is very rare,” said Spirit spokesman, Paul Berry. “But our flight attendants are trained to handle medical emergencies in flight and they have access to doctors on the ground via inflight communication. In this case we were fortunate to also have a pediatrician on board who brought even more care and comfort to the situation.”
“The Spirit crew was very attentive and took care of me throughout the flight,” added Penton. “They helped make what could have been a terrible situation as good as it could possibly be.”
Today, representatives from Spirit Airlines met Cristina and baby Christoph at Ochsner Medical Center in Kenner, Louisiana, to deliver some gifts including free flights for Christoph and a guest to anywhere Spirit flies on his birthday, for life. The airline is also planning a special sale in honor of Christoph