Phoenix woman goes into labor midflight, gives birth before plane can land

MIRAMAR, Fla.- Thirty minutes into a Spirit Airlines flight traveling from Fort Lauderdale to Dallas, Cristina Penton told flight attendants she wasn't feeling well.

Penton, from Phoenix, was 36 weeks pregnant. And it became apparent, pretty quickly, that she was going into labor. 

"I didn't think I was having the baby because it was too soon, but after a few minutes I knew I needed medical attention," Penton said, according to a Spirit press release. "Soon after that, it was clear I was having my baby, and I was in pure panic."

Spirit crews were able to contact doctors on the ground and diverted the flight to land at New Orleans Louis Armstrong Airport. But Penton's baby couldn't wait.

With the help of the airline crew, a pediatrician and a nurse who happened to be on board, Penton gave birth to baby Christoph Lezcano on the aircraft before it could land. Christoph weighed in at 7 pounds, and 19.5 inches tall. 

Both the mother and the newborn were taken to a nearby hospital once on the ground and are reportedly doing fine. 

To celebrate, the airline gave Christoph a birthday gift that is hard to top: free flights for him and a guest to anywhere Spirit flies on his birthday, for life.

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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