Passenger no. 192: The Bulgarian who was born above the clouds

Written by on July 28, 2017 in Leisure - Comments Off on Passenger no. 192: The Bulgarian who was born above the clouds

The story about a birth aboard Lufthansa flight no. LH543 made headlines on Thursday. But there was a piece of information, which the German airline did not volunteer until today: The mother and the little boy, who was born in Economy Class, are Bulgarian.

On Wednesday, the Lufthansa Airbus A340 took off into the night sky, from El Dorado Airport in Bogotá. The 38-year-old Desislava K. was one of the 191 passengers on board, and she was pregnant. But the due date was still a few weeks away. So she hardly had any worries about flying in this situation.

But then, over the Atlantic Ocean, Mrs. K. was in labour all of a sudden.

Flight crews, at least those employed by Lufthansa, are trained for situations like this one. The flight attendants moved all passengers from the very rear of the plane towards the front, in order to make some room. A partition was set up.

Three doctors, who were among the passengers, and flight attendants helped Desislava K., while she gave birth above the clouds. At 10:37 UTC (Coordinated Universal Time), a healthy boy was born. His mother named him Nikolai. He was passenger no. 192.

Kurt Meyer, the captain on this flight, decided to land as soon as they had reached Europe, in order to make sure the baby and the mother could be checked at a hospital. So he landed the aircraft in Manchester, before continuing to Frankfurt with the remaining 190 passengers.

“I have not had such a case so far in my 37-year practice. The whole crew did an outstanding job in team work, contributing to the birth of the child”, Meyer said. After landing, he immediately congratulated the mother. “Apart from the birth of my own son, this was the most exciting moment in my life”, Mayer stated.

Nikolai was only the 11th baby to be born on a Lufthansa flight since 1965.

Lufthansa offers pre-generated forms for pregnant women, which they need to have filled in and signed by their doctors before they board any of the airline’s aircraft.

Photo: Nikolai (left), Captain Kurt Mayer (center) with crew members and the mother (face concealed). Photo by Lufthansa.

 

 

 

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About the Author

Imanuel Marcus is Associate Editor of The Sofia Globe. He is German and lives in Sofia. Contact: imanuelmarcus (at) gmail.com