Delivering a baby 35,000 feet in the air was never in his thoughts when he booked a flight home from Dublin, Ireland.
Francis Dominic Mendoza, 25, of Barangay Tangub in Bacolod City, was just enjoying his flight when he noticed some of the passengers were uneasy.
On Tuesday, the plane, Qatar Airways, was already traversing Thailand and was on its way to Manila, Philippines when a 37-week pregnant Filipina went into labor mid-flight.
Using improvised instruments, Mendoza went to help deliver the baby. “We wrapped the baby in a blanket and I monitored the vitals of the mother,” he said.
He said the pilot and the cabin crew asked him if it was safe for the mother and the baby to endure three more hours of flight or would it be better to carry out an emergency landing in Bangkok, Thailand.
“The mother is stable and there are no visible signs of bleeding. My concern was if she will have bleeding along the way, and the baby is at the risk of hypothermia due to plane temperature on develop an infection,” he said.
H e said the mother and her baby were turned over to medical responders at the Bangkok airport after an emergency landing. Their flight continued on to the Philippines after an hour, he added.
He said there was no medical doctor on board the plane. “There was a psychiatrist, but she couldn’t do more because it’s not her field,” he added.
He said the mother, who was alone during the flight, was very thankful for a successful delivery under the circumstances.
“Many people think that what I did was a heroic act. But I only did what a nurse should do when confronted in a situation like this,” he said.
Mendoza was just returning home after working as a nurse for a year in Ireland.
He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree at the University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos in 2013. He said he really wanted to be a nurse growing up.
“This is my calling, this is what I want,” he added.*
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