Thursday, July 06, 2006

Doctor: I prayed for guidance

Star: KUCHING: General practitioner 53-year-old Dr Wan Ali Tuanku Mahdi thought he had delivered his last baby 20 years ago.
Never in his wildest dreams did he expect another to arrive on an aeroplane.
But when cabin crew asked if there was a doctor on board the Tuesday evening flight from Kuala Lumpur to Kuching, Dr Wan Ali stepped up to the plate and delivered Norhaizan Sharbini’s third child.
Describing the experience in his Jalan Kulas clinic yesterday, Dr Wan Ali said he was nervous and worried because of the lack of medical equipment, so all he could do was pray for guidance.
As the cabin crew draped blankets around a row of four seats in the centre of the Airbus, Norhaizan, 44, told the doctor she was supposed to deliver by Caesarean section because of her age.
Dr Wan Ali said: "That made me even more nervous about likely complications. But, thank God, everything went smoothly and the baby was delivered safely."
On the flight captain’s announcement of the birth of a girl at 7.05pm, passengers on the fully-booked flight erupted in cheers and applause.
A MAS spokesperson declined to comment on why Norhaizan had been allowed to board when she was eight-and-a-half months pregnant.
Norhaizan’s husband Zafree Mohd Zain, 42, a MAS customer service officer, said: "My wife decided at the last minute to go back to Kuching, her hometown, to deliver.
"When we checked in at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, we were told she could board the flight."
On whether the baby would receive any benefits for being born in their aircraft, the spokesperson said as the father was a MAS employee, the child would qualify for the usual benefits to which all families of MAS staff were entitled.

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