Toronto doctor delivers baby on flight, mother names girl after her

15 Jan, 2022
Dr Aisha Khatib was able to successfully deliver a baby girl on a flight from Doha to Uganda. Twitter
Dr Aisha Khatib was able to successfully deliver a baby girl on a flight from Doha to Uganda. Twitter

University of Toronto Dr Aisha Khatib helped deliver a baby girl on a flight from Qatar to Uganda and was thrilled when the mother chose to name the newborn after her reported CBC on Friday.

Khatib tweeted the story herself which was later picked up by several Canadian news outlets.

According to CBC, Khatib responded to calls by Qatar Air flight attendants asking if there was a doctor on board.

"As I got closer … what I saw was a woman lying on the seat and her head was toward the aisle and her feet were toward the window and there was a baby coming out," she was quoted as saying, adding that a crowd of passengers surrounded the mum as well.

Khatib said she'd never delivered a baby before. She is an assistant professor at the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Toronto and was on her way to Uganda for tropical medicine work.

“We kind of just jumped into action,” Khatib told City News. “I’m kind of reaching over her to grab the baby to kind of slow it down from coming out. Someone had thrown me gloves in the meantime.”

She said the mother, a migrant worker traveling by herself home from Saudi Arabia, was calm.

"She hadn't had any prenatal care," Khatib told CBC. "Even when I got to this situation … I had no history of anything about her. And so that's always a little bit of a scary situation, right?"

But the baby was delivered safely and another passenger stepped forward and identified herself as a pediatrician and helped care for the newborn.

Khatib told City News "When I said congratulations, it's a girl, the entire plane clapped."

The mum and baby were then shifted to business class where they were well looked after.

She said the best surprise was being told by the new mum that she was going to name the baby Miracle Aisha.

"I had a necklace on that had my name in Arabic on it, so I gave it to her as my namesake," Khatib said. "So that she always remembers that she was delivered by a lady named Aisha, up in the air, [when] we were flying above the Nile."

Khatib said she exchanged numbers with the mum and has been in touch with her since.

Qatar Airways told City News on Friday that there is a cut off date for pregnant women to fly and that the mother was close to hers but hadn't crossed it yet.