Baby boy born on Turkish Airlines flight from Istanbul to Chicago

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A baby was born this week on a Turkish Airlines flight from Istanbul, Turkey, to Chicago.

The baby was delivered Monday by an onboard doctor and airline crew on the flight.

The mother and baby are “in good health,” the airline confirmed in a statement to USA TODAY.

The doctor, Feridun Kubilay, was traveling from Turkey to New Orleans, with a stopover in Chicago, according to multiple reports. During the flight, he heard an announcement over the aircraft speaker asking if there were any medics on board.

He found that the mother reported abdominal pain. Although he initially believed the pain was caused by appendicitis or food poisoning, her husband later told Kubilay that she was traveling just weeks before her due date, according to multiple reports.

The flight captain told Kubilay they could land in Copenhagen, Denmark, but the doctor said there would be no time until the baby was born.

“She was screaming,” Kubilay told NOLA.com. “The whole plane was scared.”

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The doctor had to rotate the baby during delivery, but the boy was born safely and the flight landed in Chicago. A medical team was waiting for the mother and child at the airport.

The mother named the baby Mehdi, according to multiple reports.

Kubilay, who works part-time as a neurosurgeon in Turkey and does not practice medicine in the United States, told NOLA.com that he was initially due to travel a week earlier, but delayed the trip.

“If I haven’t changed my ticket, I don’t know what’s happening to this lady,” he said. “Someone or something [larger] arranged for me to be on that plane.

Countries have different policies as to whether babies born in their territory automatically receive citizenship. Babies born over US airspace are granted US citizenship.

This is not the first time in recent months that a person has given birth on a commercial flight. A woman, Lavinia Mounga, gave birth in April on a Delta flight from Salt Lake City to Honolulu.


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