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Tribune News Network
A "miracle" baby was recently delivered onboard a Qatar Airways flight from Doha to Uganda by a Canadian doctor with the help of  other passengers and flight crew.
The flight departed from Qatar on Dec. 7 and was bound for Uganda, where Dr Aisha Khatib was travelling for work.
“It was about an hour into the flight,” Dr Khatib told CTV News Toronto on Friday. “They basically asked if there was a doctor or medical personnel on board.”
Khatib, who works as the clinical director of travel medicine at MEDCAN and assistant professor with the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Toronto, was directed to the back of the plane, where a woman appeared to be in labour.
“I saw this woman — she was lying with her head towards the aisle and her feet toward the window and the baby was coming,” she said.
Khatib says her training kicked into gear and she immediately began to help the woman.
“Someone threw me a pair of gloves and we had to lean over this woman to get this baby as it was coming out,” she said.
Khatib says she had to force herself into the small space between the window and the woman’s legs in order to access the delivery.
“I was right up against the window with mom pretty much straddling me as I'm trying to get enough blankets underneath to decrease the chance of having a mess,” she said.
“I was just thinking ‘I need clamps. I need scissors. If I don't have clamps, I’ll need shoelaces’ and just trying to figure out what to do with this situation if I didn't have the materials.”
Luckily, Khatib said the flight crew was equipped with a delivery kit, giving her access to birthing tools needed.
Aided by two other medical professionals flying that day — a nurse and a pediatrician — Khatib says she was able to deliver the baby girl in a healthy and safe manner.
“I was able to cut the cords, cut the umbilical cord. And check the baby over,” she said. “The baby was crying and had colour and so I gave her a good rubdown and passed her over to the pediatrician,” she said.
The successful delivery was met with a round of applause from onlooking travellers.
The mother, a Ugandan woman, decided to thank Khatib by naming the baby after the doctor.
“She named her Miracle Aisha,” Khatib said.

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