The Guyana Defence Force (GDF) recorded its first known mid-air delivery on Saturday when 18-year-old Susan Williams of Fairview, North Rupununi gave birth to a beautiful baby girl way above the ground, in what can be described as the most beautiful view over Iwokrama.
Jemina West, medical student daughter of GDF Chief of Staff Brigadier Patrick West, was onboard the aircraft. A student of the Texila American University, she played the heroic part in spearheading the delivery.
Both mother and baby are patients in the Post Natal Care Ward of the GPHC, and are said to be doing fine. Williams and her husband are thankful for the courage demonstrated by Ms West in stepping up to the challenge.
The sequence of events began when Susan Williams developed complications during delivery and had to be air-dashed to the Georgetown Public Hospital (GPCH) for immediate attention.
She had reportedly gone into labour at about 16:00h on Saturday, and was told that the infant was in a breeched position and she would have to be air dashed to the GPHC.
Williams’s husband, Diego West, related that at about 16:00h that day, he received a call informing him that his wife was ready to deliver their second child.
“I was at work and her cousin called and said that my girl getting (labour) pain, so I told my supervisor, ‘Let me go home’, and I come home. After I come home my girl tell me that she getting pain and the health worker examined her and she said that the baby near…The baby foot come out one side and they said that it is an emergency, so they send for the next health worker from Iwokrama, and he come. After he come, the baby foot done coming out one side, so he said that he can’t do nothing about that and that we got to send her out.
“The plane was right there collecting tourists, so we went in, and shortly after (take off), she deliver the baby,” 19-year-old West related.
The parents are now deciding on a suitable name for their baby girl, and are playing around with a few that have references to the skies. This is the second child for the proud parents, who say they have no plans for a third child.
They are expected to travel back to their village after Williams and her baby are cleared to do so. And according to Williams, “Delivering in the skies doesn’t make it less painful, but it was an experience to cherish.”
The aircraft was manned by two pilots, Majors Mohinder Ramjag and Patrick Nicols, who both expressed their elation at having experienced a mid-air delivery. (Lakhram Bhagirat)