Penton was 36 weeks pregnant when she boarded the plane, so she wasn't expecting to deliver so soon, but her baby had other ideas.
A baby in the United States has started out life in style after being born mid-flight. The baby weighed seven pounds and 19.5 inches tall. "I notified the flight attendants from the beginning and they were able to talk to doctors on the ground", she said. "In this case, we were fortunate to also have a paediatrician on board who brought even more care and comfort to the situation", he added.
"Everything started happening very quickly", the woman said. "Soon after that, it was clear I was having my baby, and I was in pure panic".
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Spirit gave the family a pretty wonderful baby gift: Free flights for the next 21 years. "We just experienced the birth of a baby in the seat in front of us on our flight and had to do an emergency landing in New Orleans", Starks wrote.
"It was scary and exciting at the same time", said Lulu, Penton's daughter.
She said she had been traveling with her two other children, 11-year-old Lulu and 12-year-old Ramon, for summer vacation in Phoenix.
Passenger Shelley Hedgecock Starks was in the row right behind the action, and with the new mom's permission, captured the first moments of young Christoph's life.
"A baby being born during a flight is very rare ... but our flight attendants are trained and have access to doctors on the ground via inflight communication", he said. She had carried two babies to full-term, and though heavily pregnant, she was unconcerned about flying just weeks out from her due date.
However, baby Cristoph could not wait for the plane to land.
The flight was diverted to Louis Armstrong Airport in New Orleans and emergency medical crews were preparing to meet the aircraft when it arrived, according to Spirit Airlines.
The family provided photos to Spirit Airlines to share with the media. Both were taken to Ochsner Medical Center in Kenner, Louisiana. "They helped make what could have been a bad situation as good as it could possibly be".
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