It was indeed a great occassion when a baby was born on one of our planes. Much has been heard about the mother & baby Asia, but here’s an account from the doctor himself , who assisted with the delivery of the baby on board. Thank you, Dr. Ronald for being a blessing :)

Enjoy reading, everyone!

I was on my journey home from Penang after attending a 3-day course. Less than one hour into the flight, I was reading the The Edge in flight, waiting for my online pre-booked Nasi Lemak.

The running footsteps of a cabin crew broke the ‘silence’ (the humming of the airbus jet).

“Is there such a need to run in plane? This is really disturbing,” I asked myself.

The cabin crew announced the need for medical assistance. Immediately, I thought to myself, “Maybe someone is suffering from air sickness… no big deal.”

The captain walked to the back of the plane while others started whispering “Gosh… the lady is in labour pain!” and that alerted me.

It occurred to me ‘who else have to do the work?’ I approached the scene immediately.

“Don’t come near, I am a doctor”.

“Why did you not respond during the first call? Could you please show me your proof as a doctor?” one of the crew asked me.

I had my official ID card together in my handcarry, so no problem, but some embarrassment.

I was introduced to the mother, and had her answer a few questions. She answered, “This is second baby and the first is 7 years old”.

I examined her, (head presentation, cervix full dilatation), then I reassured the mother and the crews (more reassurance needed for the crews).

“How long will this last before delivery?” one of the crew asked.

“It could be in minutes”. We were all working together to comfort the mother.

There was no way to halt the delivery, I had to conduct the delivery, proper protection, proper maneuver, instruct the mother to push at proper time… (don’t worry we actually had plenty of plastic gloves and tissues). Everything was very standard except that it was not in a labour room setting.

A baby boy was born and his crying triggered much cheer and joy from everyone. Delivery was completed while we were still flying with about less than half an hour to landing.

After landing, the ground medical team took over to care for the mother and the newborn baby.
Being able to experience this in a flight is exceptional, as it is a rare occasion.

Furthermore, it did not the matter if I was the doctor, but I could imagine how it would be like if a doctor was not present.

Imagine these uncool scenarios: i) the mother was alone during labour, ii) the mother in labour attended only by a helpless doctor, iii) the mother and baby safe, but no emergency landing and admission to good centre for further care.

The examplary professionalism was heartfelt, the pilot made the best decision to reroute and landed safely, the air hostesses did the best in accompanying and helping the mother at her most painful time, the doctor conducted the delivery and the ground medical team ever-readily took over the duty.

Praise to everyone.

Not sure if I would be meeting the mother & baby again, but I wished them the best, and I am definitely happy seeing them living well. Am also glad to hear the name Asia Liew Ya Hang for the baby, as it is huge and signifies rich and fast growing over the continent with many possibilities, like AirAsia.

All in all, an incident like this could have caused everyone maximal distress, but I am thankful to have bagged a truly remarkable memory with this experience.

  • Ramnan

    Dear Dr Ronald,

    Besides the memory and exprerience, were you presented with any “material” gains?

    I mean, mother and child get free flights … what about you?

    Surely the doctor who readily answered the call of duty (albeit with a little embarassment), needs some recognition too, right?


  • Christina

    such a fascinating experience. wish i were there.. :)
    good job doc ! blessed you.. and also mom & baby and airasia…

  • Elaine

    Bravo DOC…:P

  • Elaine

    A very touching and real life story from Dr. Ronald, what a great blessing for him to perform this important task, both mother and her baby are fine. AirAsia, the Airline of the Year, very well-known as ‘Now Everyone Can Fly’.

  • Chiong Thai

    Dear Dr. Ronald, It is Great ! Uncle Ngu and family are happy to read the news of you and are proud of you too, God is giving you green light for your good future carrier.We all hope you do your best. All the best from us in Kuching.