Baby born on Spirit flight departing from Florida
'I was in pure panic,' mother says
For one baby boy, being born in a hospital just wouldn't fly.
Baby Christoph Lezcano was born mid-air on a Spirit airlines flight departing from Fort Lauderdale on its way to Dallas Fort Worth on Saturday night.
Mother Cristina Penton, of Phoenix, was about 30 minutes into the flight when she told airline personnel that she wasn't feeling well and needed medical assistance.
"Everything started happening very quickly," Penton said. "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."
Before the plane could be diverted to land at New Orleans Louis Armstrong Airport, Penton, who was 36 weeks pregnant, gave birth to a healthy 7 pound, 19.5 inch baby boy. The pair was taken to Ochsner Medical Center in Kenner, Louisiana once the plane landed.
"A baby being born during a flight is very rare," Spirit spokesman Paul Berry said. "But our flight attendants are trained to handle medical emergencies in flight and they have access to doctors on the ground via in-flight communication. In this case, we were fortunate to also have a pediatrician on board who brought even more care and comfort to the situation."
Representatives from Spirit met with Penton and the baby on Tuesday to offer them gifts, including free flights for Christoph and a guest on any flight that flies on his birthday for life.
"The Spirit crew was very attentive and took care of me throughout the flight," Penton said. "They helped make what could have been a terrible situation as good as it could possibly be."
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