Skip to main content

Wrexham Maelor doctor helps woman, only seven months pregnant, give birth on flight to India


‘Is there a doctor on board’ heard Inshad Ibrahim, from Wrexham Maelor Hospital’s Emergency Department, before he found himself helping a woman, only seven-months pregnant, give birth on a plane thousands of feet in the sky. 

Inshad, who lives in Wrexham, was travelling to Kochi, South India, with his wife and two children, just three and six-months-old. After two hours on the flight Inshad heard the crew ask if there was a doctor on board who could help them. Inshad volunteered and was taken to a woman who was just seven months pregnant, who seemed in pain from the turbulence they were experiencing on the plane. 

Inshad said: “Other medical staff on the plane also volunteered to help, and when we examined the woman, we saw her waters had broken, and we told the crew that this was an emergency and we needed space. 

“The cabin crew gave turned an area which they normally prepare the food in into a delivery room for us with pillows and clothes. When we examined her, half the head of the baby was already out. The baby was very small but she wasn’t making a sound, so I tapped his back and after about 15-20 seconds he opened his eyes and cried. The was a very long 15-20 seconds.” 

The baby was named Shawn Michael and weighed 2.4lbs. The other passengers gave their clothes to keep the baby warm, as well as consoled the new father of Shawn, and helped Inshad’s wife care for their two children. 

“The baby seemed ok, good blood flow and sucking reflex, but we still had seven hours to go before reaching our destination. The pilot asked could I look after her during that time, but the baby needed neonatal care urgently, so I asked could we land at a nearby airport as I couldn’t guarantee their help would be ok until we got to India. 

“We did an emergency landing in Frankfurt and the mother, her husband and baby were rushed to the hospital from there.  

“It was an amazing experience, a celebratory moment for all the passengers, everyone was so happy and excited. We all consoled and helped her husband too, and passengers helped my wife with our two children during the flight too, we became close family.” 

The baby stayed in Frankfurt hospital for one month, and has only recently returned home.  

Inshad was on his way to Kochi for a holiday with his family, he returned home a few weeks later, and worked over Christmas at Wrexham Maelor Emergency Department.