Childbirth Premature Babies

British Airways Makes Unexpected Landing after Mother Delivers Baby in Air at Just 26 Weeks

Ujunwa Eneh Ozeh thought she had plenty of time to take her one-year-old daughter, Nnedinma, on vacation. She was only 26 weeks pregnant, after all. But (surprise, surprise!) little Michael had other plans.

The vacation with her daughter was only supposed to last for the summer. She wanted to take her daughter to see the country in which she was born.

British Airways flight Boeing 777

“I was going for the summer. Michael was not due until August,” Ujunwa told Daily Mail UK. “I had a return ticket to Nigeria booked for May 28th, so I intended to stay for a few weeks and then go home.”

But while flying from Nigeria to London (a connecting flight to her final destination in Washington, USA), Ujunwa’s water broke. Fellow passengers alerted the cabin crew, who then put out a call for doctors over the intercom. Thankfully, an unidentified female physician was on board. She, along with the flight crew, helped to oversee Michael’s delivery in the plane’s business class.

British Airways flight Boeing 777 Business Class

“I just wasn’t thinking that I could be in labor. I couldn’t imagine it.” the mother of two said. “When the doctor told me the baby was coming, I went into total shock. I can’t really remember. I wasn’t able to think clearly.”

The plane then made an emergency landing in Palme de Mallorce, in the Balearic Islands. Once the plane touched down, both mother and baby were rushed off to the nearest hospital, Son Espases.

“I am fine and healthy and the doctor said that Michael is doing pretty well, that it’s looking good and he is trying to survive,” Ujunwa said.

But there are some concerns for this family: Ujunwa will be released on Monday, while Michael will need to stay in the neonatal intensive care unit until August – about the time of his original due date – so that he can finish developing under medical supervision.

“I don’t have any other option than to stay here on the island,” she said. “My baby needs me to just hang in there for him until it is safe for him to come home with me.”

Her husband, Kaycee Ozeh, a businessman in Nigeria, is now trying to get a visa so that he can travel to the island to be with his wife, daughter and newborn son.

“Right now, [he] doesn’t have a Spanish visa, but I need him to come here. I don’t know what I’m going to do when I get out of the hospital. I’m completely in the dark,” Ujunwa said. “I need my husband because I don’t know the next step to take.

British Airways (who still managed to land the flight Ujunwa delivered on just 30 minutes late) gave an official statement regarding the delivery and the events that took place afterwards.

“Our cabin crew, who are trained in birthing procedures, assisted with the delivery of a baby on board our flight from Abuja,” the British Airways spokesman told Daily News UK. “The Captain diverted the aircraft to Palma so that mum and baby could be taken to hospital. We are in touch and will continue to provide any support and help we can. We wish the mother and her little one all the very best.”

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About the author


Kate Givans is a wife and a mother of five—four sons (one with autism) and a daughter. She’s an advocate for breastfeeding, women’s rights, against domestic violence, and equality for all. When not writing—be it creating her next romance novel or here on Growing Your Baby—Kate can be found discussing humanitarian issues, animal rights, eco-awareness, food, parenting, and her favorite books and shows on Twitter or Facebook. Laundry is the bane of her existence, but armed with a cup of coffee, she sometimes she gets it done.

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