On Saturday, Aug. 21, an Afghan woman gave birth to a healthy baby girl on a U.S. plane during an evacuation. The plane, a U.S. Air Force C-17, was headed from Kabul to Germany when the woman went into labor.
The women began experiencing complications due to the high altitude, according to the Air Mobility Command.
“The aircraft commander made the decision to descend in altitude to increase air pressure in the aircraft, which helped stabilize and save the mother’s life,” an AMC statement said.
Just ten minutes after the plane landed on the U.S. base in Ramstein, Germany, the baby girl was born. There was no time to take the woman to a medical facility, so the child was born on the plane and was quickly moved for medical attention after her successful birth. The child has been named Reach after the plane’s call sign.
Not only did the commander take action to save the mother and child, but the entire crew assisted in the delivery. Capt. Erin Brymer, a nurse for the U.S. army, helped with the unexpected birth.
“I was expecting the worst [but] hoping for the best,” Brymer said..
But was the delivery so unexpected?
Col. Adrienne Williams said it makes sense a pregnant woman would suddenly go into labor mid-evacuation. The situation is an immensely stressful one for the evacuees.
“When you think about where they’re originating from … and then just the transitioning to get to that place to [Ramstein, Germany], it takes a mental toll, a physical toll,” Williams said.
Following the delivery, Brymer said the delivery showed a commonality between people.
“We’re people, they’re people. We both want the same things: strong mamas, strong babies,” Brymer said.