Toronto’s doctor gives birth to a baby girl in the middle of the flight

A doctor’s skills from Toronto were put to the test last month when she was asked to help perform a birth on a transcontinental flight.

Dr. Aisha Khatib says she works well under pressure, so when the flight attendant on her Qatar Airways flight asked if there was a doctor on board, she wasted no time giving up her skills voluntarily.

The plane departed from Qatar on December 7 and was on its way to Uganda, where Khatib was traveling for work.

“It was about an hour inside the flight,” Khatib told CTV News Toronto on Friday. “They basically asked if there was a doctor or medical staff on board.”

Khatib, who works as the clinical director of travel medicine at MEDCAN and assistant professor at the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Toronto, was assigned to the back of the plane where a woman appeared to be in labor.

“I saw this woman – she was lying with her head against the hallway and her feet against the window, and the baby was coming,” she said.

Khatib says her training got underway and she immediately started helping the woman.

“Someone threw me a pair of gloves and we had to lean over this woman to get this baby when it came out,” she said.

Khatib says she had to force herself into the small space between the window and the woman’s legs to gain access to the birth.

“I was standing right up the window with mom pretty much straining over me as I try to get enough blankets downstairs to lessen the chance of getting messy,” she said.

“I was just thinking ‘I need clamps. I need scissors. If I do not have clamps, I should use laces and just try to figure out what to do with this situation if I did not have the materials. “

Fortunately, Khatib said the flight crew was equipped with a delivery kit that gave her access to the necessary birth tools.

Aided by two other doctors who flew that day – a nurse and a pediatrician – Khatib says she was able to give birth to the little girl in a healthy and safe way.

“I was able to cut the strings, cut the umbilical cord. And check the baby over,” she said. “The baby cried and had color, so I gave her a good rub and handed her over to the pediatrician,” she said.

The successful delivery was met with applause from oncoming travelers.


“Mom looked okay – she looked stable, so I thought, ‘Congratulations. It’s a girl!’ and the whole plane just started clapping, ā€¯Khatib said.

“I had completely forgotten that I gave birth to a baby on a plane.”

Both mother and baby were in good enough shape to continue the rest of the flight. They were moved to first class and monitored for the remaining five hours, Khatib said.

The mother, a Ugandan woman, decided to thank Khatib by naming the baby after the doctor.

“She called her Miracle Aisha,” Khatib said.

Khatib says she has been accompanying the mother and baby, who she says are doing well in Uganda.

As a sign to remember her by, Khatib left the baby girl with a small gift.

“I happened to be wearing a necklace with my name in Arabic at the time, which is why I gave it to her,” she said.

“I wanted her to know where she came from – provided by a lady named Aisha as we flew across the Nile.”


Give a Comment