Flight diverted to New Orleans due to midflight birth

(Photo Courtesy: WWL-TV)

DALLAS (WWL-TV) – A pregnant woman flying on Spirit Airlines Saturday night from Ft. Lauderdale to Dallas experienced a different type of turbulence.

Christina Penton, of Phoenix, started having contractions in midflight. Fearing that the baby was on its way, the plane was diverted to New Orleans.

“Within 10-15 minutes of takeoff, I felt like something was not fine,” Penton said. “Contractions came every five minutes and they started coming pretty regularly.”

Penton was a month away from her due date, and she felt sure she’d make it to her final destination with her other two children, 12-year-old Ramon and 11-year-old Lulu. But baby Christoph Lezcano, who weighed 7 pounds and was 19.5 inches tall, had other plans, forcing the pilots to make a detour to New Orleans.

“I don’t think it was longer than an hour from when the first contraction started,” Penton said. “My water broke, then 10 minutes after the water broke he was pretty much out.”

The Spirits Airlines flight crew reacted quickly and so did Lulu, who did her best to comfort her mother.

“I wasn’t able to help her much, but it was scary and exciting at the same time, because I’m getting a new baby brother,” Lulu said.

Mom and baby were taken to Ochsner Hospital in Kenner and are doing fine. Because the baby has not been immunized, doctors are now suggesting that the family continue their trip by car to avoid illnesses.

Spirit Airlines delivered gifts as a going away present that included free flights for Christoph and a guest anywhere the airlines flies near his birthday for the next 21 years.

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