Teen Gives Birth During Long Flight from South Africa to New York

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The question “where were you born?” takes on a whole new meaning for one baby boy, as he was born to his 17-year-old mother during a long flight from South Africa to New York on Saturday.

Katawmatt Kaba was aboard a South African Airways flight from Johannesburg to JFK when she went into labor after four hours of flight time.

Kaba was lucky, as two doctors and a nurse were on board the flight and helped her deliver at 38,000 feet.

As she went into labor, flight attendants went on the loudspeaker and asked if a doctor was on board.

Pediatric anesthesiologist Dr. Julie Williamson came forward, along with Dr. Steve Paridon. Williamson was on her way back to California after a medical conference in South Africa.

Williamson said, “While there was a lot of discussion whether to divert the flight, she made the decision for us by saying, ‘Push!’ and when we checked, the baby was crowning and she delivered him in two pushes.”

Other people aboard the plane were amazed she gave birth because she barely made any noise during the delivery.

She named her son Mamel Joella. He was wrapped in blankets immediately after his birth and rocked by airline crew throughout the flight as they walked down aisles.

The new son and mother were taken to Jamaica Medical Center in Queens when the plane arrived. Both are in healthy condition.

Kaba was going to the US to visit family. Mamel will not be an American citizen, as he was not born in American airspace.