Baby 'Jet' born 14 weeks early on mid-air flight to Orlando remains in critical condition

Palm Bay doctor delivers baby on plane to Orlando

ORLANDO, Fla. — A baby who was born 14 weeks early on a plane headed to Orlando is in critical condition, officials at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) Children's Hospital said.

A pregnant woman was on a Southwest Airlines flight to Orlando on Sunday when she went into labor.

Airline spokeswoman Melissa Ford said that Flight 556 was on its way from Philadelphia to Orlando on Sunday when a woman went into labor.

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Luckily, there was a doctor on board.

Dr. Bhasker Patel of Palm Bay was on his way home to Central Florida when he found himself in the middle on an in-flight emergency.

"They made an announcement to see if there was any medical personnel on board," Patel said.

A passenger at the front of the plane went into labor, and that's when Patel, who said he hasn't delivered a baby in nearly 40 years, jumped into action.

The crew rushed to make an emergency landing in Charleston, South Carolina.

"All we could do at that point is do our best to help out and wish them the best," said Patel. "I think it's an emotional experience. Anyone would be touched."

Watch the full interview with Dr. Patel below, and then scroll down to continue reading story: 

Officials said the flight and the remaining passengers arrived in Orlando just over an hour behind schedule.

(MUSC) Children's Hospital released this statement Tuesday:

“Baby Jet came unexpectedly mid-air during a Southwest flight that was diverted to Charleston, South Carolina on Sunday, Dec. 4.  Believe it or not, "Jet" was on mom and dad's baby name list even before his unexpected arrival on their way home to Orlando from a family baby shower in Pennsylvania.  We at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) Children's Hospital are honored to have Baby Jet here with us in our Level IV Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).  Jet was born at 26 weeks' gestation, so 14 weeks early, weighing 1020 grams, or slightly more than two pounds.

Once the plane landed in Charleston, he was then brought to the MUSC Pediatric Emergency Department and ultimately the NICU.  Jet was placed on a ventilator and given a medicine called surfactant to help with his breathing. So far his blood pressure has been stable, and he is being treated for a possible infection at the time of birth.  He was a little bit colder than a baby born inside the hospital when he arrived here, and it is remarkable that he was able to go for some time without some type of respiratory support while on his way to us.

He is in critical condition at this time, surrounded by his parents' and family's love, and the 24/7 expert care of his neonatal health care team. His care team is led by Dr. Rita Ryan, professor of Pediatrics and a neonatal lung researcher.”

A witness shot the video below showing the front of the plane after it made an emergency landing: 

Palm Bay doctor delivers baby on plane to Orlando

SPECIAL DELIVERY! A passenger at the front of a plane went into labor, and that's when Dr. Bhasker Patel of Palm Bay jumped into action. Here's the story: http://at.wftv.com/2hbBk8Z

Posted by WFTV Channel 9 on Monday, December 5, 2016

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