North Texas nurse helps deliver baby on Spirit Airlines flight

A Carrollton nurse used to handling life or death situations can now add labor and delivery to her resume after a baby boy decided mid-flight he couldn't wait any longer to make his debut. Another passenger captured it all on cell phone video.

The now viral video was taken on a Spirit Airlines flight Saturday evening from Fort Lauderdale to DFW Airport.

Cristina Penton of Phoenix was 36 weeks pregnant, and with two other children in tow, when she sent into labor mid-flight.

“Got on the plane, sat down and everything seemed to be fine,” Penton recalled. “And then they started closing the door and started to take off. And within 10-15 minutes of takeoff, I felt like something was not fine.”

Nurse Rhondula Green of Carrollton heard the flight attendant call for a medical professional and knew she had to help. Fortunately, a pediatrician was also on board.

“I was asking for gloves, and the pediatrician was like, ‘They don’t have any gloves.’” Green recalled. And I was like, ‘They have to find some gloves.’ And then by the time I was getting my gloves on, the head was starting to crown.”

Shelley Hedgecock Starks of Fort Worth was in the seat behind Penton and shot the video as the flight was diverting to New Orleans.

“I just asked her, ‘Do you want me to video this so you have a memory of what's going on here?’” she asked Penton. “She's married, apparently. But her husband wasn't there. Her children were in shock so they weren't in any situation or wanted to video that.”

“A few seconds late, the head comes out. And the mom is like, ‘Take it! Take it!’” recalled Green. “He popped out, literally. Like, we barely caught him and then we just gave him to her.”

Penton named her son Christoph, though some passengers call him "Baby Spirit"

“He did what he wanted,” Penton said. “We were just all along for the ride.”

“As I walked back, everybody just started clapping and cheering,” Green said. “It was an awesome moment.”

Green says she's now considering going into labor and delivery.

On its website, Spirit Airlines recommends women in the eighth month of pregnancy should get examined by a doctor before committing to a flight.

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