Toronto travel doctor delivers baby ‘Miracle’ on flight

A Toronto doctor considered using shoelaces and scissors when she sprang into action to deliver a baby aboard a flight to East Africa.

It happened on a Qatar Airways flight from Doha, Qatar to Entebbe, Uganda, where Dr. Aisha Khatib on December 5 traveled for work and medical training.

About an hour into the journey, the intercom called for medical assistance in the economy cabin.

“I went there and there was a woman with her head to the aisle and her feet to the window, and a baby came out,” Khatib told Global News.

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She sprang into action, along with a nurse and pediatrician who were among the passengers and crew on board.

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“I need clamps and scissors, and if not, I need shoelaces,” Khatib recalls.

“Luckily, there was a delivery kit in the medical kit so we could clamp and cut the umbilical cord.”

She remembers the tense moments leading up to the delivery, and then the wash of happiness and relief when the baby started to cry.

“I said, ‘Congratulations, it’s a girl,’ and the whole plane started clapping,” Khatib said.

The overjoyed 25-year-old mother gave her newborn daughter a name: Miracle Aisha, named after the hero doctor who gave birth to her.

Aisha Khatib / Delivered.

Aisha Khatib / Included

“I had a small namesake necklace, an ‘Aisha’ necklace that I wore and gave her so she knows where she comes from,” said an emotional Khatib.

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Khatib, a travel doctor at MedCan and assistant professor of family and community medicine at the University of Toronto, hadn’t given birth in ten years.

“It’s like riding a bike, isn’t it?” she said with a laugh.

Delivering a baby can be risky in any environment, but putting it tens of thousands of feet in the air comes with its own complications.

“When you’re at high altitude, you have to worry about lower oxygen pressure that could potentially affect babies with respiratory distress,” explains Khatib.

“There is always a risk of bleeding or bleeding after delivery. And if you don’t have blood products or anything else to stabilize mom, that’s always a risk and that would be a major emergency.”

Click to play video: 'Woman gives birth to child on Delta Air Lines flight'

Woman gives birth to child on Delta Air Lines flight

Woman gives birth to child aboard Delta Air Lines flight – November 26, 2021

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