A Frontier Airlines flight landed with one more passenger than it had taken off with Tuesday after a mother gave birth to a baby girl mid-flight.
Shakeria Martin was not quite due when she boarded the flight from Denver to Orlando but when she awoke from a nap with intense contractions, she knew her baby just wasn’t going to wait any longer.
“I was feeling fine and everything and so I went to sleep and I woke up and my contractions were, yeah…,” Martin said. “The first thought that ran through my mind was this cannot be happening right now. This cannot be, there’s no way I could just have this baby on this plane.”
Once flight attendants determined that there was no one on the plane with childbirth training, they gathered medical supplies and helped Martin to the back of the plane while the pilot arranged for an emergency landing at Pensacola International Airport.
The airline is praising flight attendant Diana Giraldo who assisted with the birth as “exemplary” and “calm.”
“I’m an older sister,” Giraldo said. “And so, to me I saw this young woman she was frightened. She was uncomfortable. And when she told me she was scared there was no comfort. There was no space inside of me for any doubt. I just had to make sure that I was there for her.”
Captain Chris Nye said in a statement shared by the airline:
“Diana again went above and beyond after the completion of the flight to coordinate our return to Orlando. The whole crew really did a great job.”
Nye added, “I transferred controls and flying duties to my First Officer as I coordinated the diversion. Dispatch did a great job as well by suggesting Pensacola Airport and getting a gate and paramedics ready for us. This was a job well done, and I was happy to see everyone working together to successfully deliver a newborn on an aircraft!”
The new mom gave her baby girl the middle name Sky.