Midair miracle as baby is born during flight

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By Brad Denny By Brad Denny

PHOENIX --  A mother had a midair miracle on Tuesday morning as a baby boy was born while on a flight from San Francisco en route to Phoenix.

The baby boy was born about 20 minutes into the flight and very few knew it was happening until a crew member announced "Is there a doctor on board?"

Julie Dafoe, a passenger, described the frantic moments on board Southwest flight 623 bound for Phoenix. She and Kurt Reed were sitting right next to the woman in labor.

"All of a sudden I heard a baby cry like a gurgling sound, like a baby that had too much milk or whatever and I'm like there's no babies on this flight," Reed said.

The woman was roughly 37 weeks pregnant and gave birth in her seat with the help of the flight crew and a doctor and nurse who were aboard.

"One of the nurses that helped she said she was like walking around pacing in the airport so they were thinking she was having contractions," said Dafoe.

The direct flight to Phoenix from San Francisco had to be immediately diverted to Los Angeles. Passengers heard the call for a doctor, but nothing about what the medical emergency was. Aarti Shahani described the relief when it was all over.

"The captain announced congratulations for the arrival of this new baby boy," Shahani said. "So we all started applauding, but it was confusing because we thought someone was going to die not be born."

Ely Alexander says the way it all played out was like it was meant to be.

"No one freaked out it was all very calm it was really amazing how calm it was and people came to help."

Talk about a wild ride. Fortunately, mom, dad and baby boy are doing well in a Los Angeles hospital, and many of the passengers joked wondering what the birth certificate will say.

Southwest Airlines released a statement on the midair birth:

Southwest Flight #623 from San Francisco to Phoenix safely diverted to Los Angeles when a baby was born shortly after takeoff from San Francisco. A nurse and doctor who were onboard assisted the family and the Flight Crew until paramedics met the flight to take the family to a nearby hospital. The 111 Customers continued to Phoenix on a new aircraft, arriving 2:30 behind schedule, but with an exciting story to tell. We don't release Customer information, so I'm unable to share names and specifics on the hospital with you. We continue to gather information and look forward as all of you do to hearing the story from the family if they decide this is a story they'd like to share.