Nigerian banker gives birth on Air France flight from Paris to New York

A Nigerian identified as Toyin Ogundipe has been delivered of a baby boy half-way through an eight-hour Air France flight from Paris to New York.

The delivery was carried out by second-year urology resident, Dr Sij Hemal, who was awaiting a glass of champagne on the way home from his best friend’s wedding when flight attendants asked for medical help over the loudspeaker.

Ogundipe, 41, had gone into labour a week early – four hours from their destination and two hours away from a safe emergency landing.

Using the Air France flight’s medical supplies to monitor vitals and contractions, Dr Hemal helped the Nigerian banker, who lives and works in the UK, safely deliver her son after 30 minutes of pushing.

He used shoestring to tie and cut the umbilical cord for baby Jake, who now has a US passport because they were flying in US airspace.

Speaking to Daily Mail Online, Dr Hemal said he was just glad everything went smoothly – and was relieved it all happened before he’d had any champagne.

Dr Hemal, who had been on vacation in New Delhi, India, was flying coach class via Paris and New York on his way back to Cleveland on December 17.

Coincidentally, when the flight attendants came to ask him for advice, the urologist at Cleveland Clinic’s Glickman Urological and Kidney Institute discovered he was seated next to Dr Stefanie Ortolan, a paediatrician from France.

The pair were ushered over to Ogundipe, also in coach, who was complaining of chest pains and dizziness.

Ogundipe was in labour and having contractions about 10 minutes apart.

While the flight attendants took care of Ogundipe’s four-year-old daughter Amy, the doctors used instruments and supplies in the flight’s medical kit to routinely check her blood pressure, oxygen rate and pulse.

Within an hour the contractions were coming more frequently occurring seven, then five and finally two minutes apart.

“My initial plan was to monitor her and her vitals but we did a cervical exam and that’s when her water broke,” he said.

“That’s when we knew we were going to deliver on the plane,” Dr Hemal added.

After 30 minutes of pushing, Toyin delivered a healthy baby boy who she named Jake.

Dr Hemal removed the placenta and used a surgical clamp and shoestring to tie off the umbilical cord and cut it off with a pair of scissors.

Dr Ortolan assessed the baby boy who appeared to be healthy and soon began nursing on his mother.

Upon arrival at JFK, Ogundipe and her children were escorted off the airplane by EMTs to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center in Queens, New York.

She was released later that day and is recovering at the home of friends in New Jersey.

Because he was born in US airspace, he now has an American passport.