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Nakakabilib! Pinoy Nurses Helped A Lone Mom Deliver A Preemie On Flight From Kuwait To Manila
PHOTO BY FACEBOOK /SHERYL ALIPIO PASCUA
  • What could have been a long and relaxing flight from Kuwait to Manila became the most thrilling yet fulfilling nine hours of their lives yet for registered nurse Sheryl Alipio Pascua and her family.

    On August 3, Sheryl shared on Facebook about their very rare and unique experience on their connecting flight via Kuwait Airways on August 2nd. 

    In an exclusive interview with Smart Parenting, Sheryl shared, "More than two hours delayed yung flight from London. Nung nag-fly na kami sa Kuwait, inantay kami ng mga bound from Kuwait to Manila."

    She continued, "20 mins into the flight, nag-call for help na yung pilot, sabi nila, emergency is there anyone, any nurse or doctor on board."

    "I didn't hesitate, I told my husband to go. Nagtinginan kami. Tapos, inulit ulit, tumakbo na ako," she recounts.

    She said she had to leave her three children in the care of their seatmate who is also a mother. They still have nine hours left of travel time. 

    To their surprise, they found a pregnant Filipina passenger who was in pain.

    "Sabi ng katabi niya, buntis daw, 6 months. So naisip ko, premature contraction kasi it can happen diba, sabi ko tagilid, masakit pa rin daw. Yung pain nagsstop," Sheryl said.

    She timed the contractions, "Naku, regular na siya!" That's when Sheryl knew she was going to help the mom deliver the baby.

    'Manang, tulungan mo ako'

    The 40-year-old mom of three told Smart Parenting that she is a registered general nurse in the neurology unit. Her usual patients are those who suffer from brain injuries and seizures.

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    Her husband, who is also a nurse, migrated to the UK in 2005, and she followed in 2007. 

    However, Sheryl said, she used to be a clinical instructor teaching her students labor and childbirth and newborn care. "But that was how many years ago, 2006-2007, medyo kalawang na yung knowledge and skills ko."

    She added, "Yung stock knowledge in case of emergency, bumabalik siya, and with the help and wisdom of God. I really prayed in that scenario."

    Coincidentally, when she asked the mother, she said her name was Sheryl too, and she's also from La Union, where her husband is from. They then began conversing in Ilocano, and the mom said to her, "Manang, tulungan mo ako." To which she replied, "Hindi kita iiwan."

    Emergency landing?

    "Nung mag-IE (internal exam), nakita ko na ang ulo ng baby. Crowning!" Sheryl said. She called for help, aside from her husband, there were also two nurses on the flight with them. Her husband had already set up a tent behind them because there was blood everywhere.

    After a few more contractions and a successful push, the baby came out and her husband caught it. She said the baby was about the size of her husband's palm.

    PHOTO BY FACEBOOK /SHERYL ALIPIO PASCUA
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    Despite the lack of basic medical equipment like sterile gloves and scissors, they were able to deliver the baby safely. Her husband made a make-shift oxygen mask and placed a hot water bag to keep the baby warm.

    As for the mom, they were able to stabilize her blood pressure and she was able to sleep.

    "They took care of the baby, I took care of the mom," Sheryl said.

    Sheryl said she got worried when the pilot advised her that they couldn't make an emergency landing either in Iraq or India due to restrictions.

    She told the pilot, "If you're going to ask me, with no facilities here and baby is too tiny, the baby in the next few hours will not survive, may oxygen man tayo, the baby must be in a proper incubator and ventilator."

    They asked the mom, and she said that they would have to land in Manila.

    He is in control

    "The mother and the baby despite being premature survived throughout the many hours of journey and landed safely in Manila. The baby was named Lance Ezekiel, which means "God is our strength." Indeed he is the only source of our strength," Sheryl said in her Facebook post.

    PHOTO BY FACEBOOK /SHERYL ALIPIO PASCUA
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    She was able to communicate with the mom, and she's still in a Manila hospital recovering together with her baby.

    "Thankful ako kay Lord kasi it's a very rare and unique opportunity to be given this task. God has orchestrated these things to happen. Everything has a purpose, everything comes from the Lord," she said.

    Sheryl shared, her eldest son is taking up nursing in UK. Her other two children want to be nurses like them too.

    "Hindi ako yun, it's not my husband, it's not even the nurses or the cabin crew who are onboard who controlled the situation. It's God who controls everything."

    Takeaways

    Sheryl hopes that from their experience, airline companies will ensure that they have complete medical equipment on their flights for emergencies like this. 

    She likewise reminds mothers of the importance of having prenatal check-ups and getting clearance from their doctors before flying. 

    In an article by Mayo Clinic, Tatnai Burnett, M.D. said, "Generally, commercial air travel before week 36 of pregnancy is considered safe if you have a healthy pregnancy. Still, if you're pregnant, check with your health care provider before you fly."

    If a mom has been experiencing complications, it might be worsened by air travel. The best time to fly for women with healthy pregnancy is during their second trimester, where the risks are lowest.

    Read what a pregnant mother needs to know before traveling here.

    Salute to Sheryl, and to our Filipino nurses and frontliners!

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