A baby born more than two months premature on a jetliner was removed from a ventilator and taken off the critical list Sunday, his mother said.
“He’s doing quite well,” Theresa de Bara said in a telephone interview.
The De Bara family boarded TWA Flight 265 in New York on Wednesday as a family of three en route to a holiday trip to Disney World in Orlando, Fla. Ninety minutes later, after an emergency landing in suburban Virginia, they left the plane as a family of four--now counting Matthew Dulles, weighing in at 4 pounds, 6 ounces and measuring 17 inches.
On the way, Theresa de Bara, nearly seven months pregnant, went into labor and, with the help of a Long Island internist and two paramedics from Newburyport, Mass., Matthew Dulles de Bara was born 90 miles outside of Dulles International Airport in Chantilly, Va.
His parents decided Dulles should be a part of his name, given the role the airport played in his safe landing.
Santiago de Bara stayed behind at the hospital with his new son, while his wife returned home with the couple’s 3-year-old daughter, Amanda.
Leaving her new baby was “just horrible,” she said, “but my husband is a lot more levelheaded and could deal with the things that may have occurred with Matthew better than I could have. My daughter is better adjusted to dealing with me and my way of organizing things.”
She said she would be returning to her son’s side this afternoon.
Dr. Steven H. Rachlin assisted with the birth.
“Here I was on a vacation to relax, and then I was on an airplane being asked to deliver a baby. I was in an altered state,” Rachlin told the Washington Post. He said he had delivered only one baby before--13 years ago.
He originally thought his new patient was experiencing false labor pains. But the contractions became more frequent, and it appeared she was starting to hemorrhage.
The pain intensified as Flight 265 climbed to its cruising altitude of 30,000 feet.
As breakfast was being served about 30 minutes into the flight, the De Baras told a flight attendant they needed assistance.
At that time, Theresa de Bara doubled over in pain as her contractions started.
Flight attendant Connie Duquette hastily ordered passengers to clear the aisles and make room.
The delivery was made 90 miles from Dulles, but the baby came out with the umbilical cord around his neck and the child was not breathing.
Jim and Jen Midgely, two paramedics from Newburyport, Mass., said they had delivered about a dozen infants and began to help.
Jen Midgely took a small straw from a juice box and inserted it in the child’s throat as Rachlin administered cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
The child began to breathe on his own after a few minutes. Duquette used a passenger’s shoelace to tie the umbilical cord, first passing up one from dirty sneakers.