When a woman went into labor on an Emirates flight from London to Manila, there were two fellow passengers well equipped to help: nurses heading home from their jobs on a Carnival cruise ship.
The drama unfolded Saturday at 37,000 feet, according to Carnival Cruise Line, when the unidentified expectant mother went into labor. It was not clear how far along she was in her pregnancy; Emirates did not immediately respond to questions about the birth Monday.
In a statement, Carnival identified the nurses only as John and Christine Anne, and said they were meant to fly earlier in the week, "but apparently it was all meant to be.” On the flight they actually took, an announcement asking for medical help rang out over the public address system.
The baby’s name, according to Carnival, is Sky. She and her mother are doing fine, the cruise line said.
“All of us at Carnival express our pride and appreciation to Christine Anne and John and a lifetime of good fortune to baby Sky,” the statement said.
In the comments of a Facebook post by Carnival Cruise Line brand ambassador John Heald, several people congratulated a man named John Kelvin Malabanan, who also shared the post with the hashtags #IamCarnival and #proudtobeaFilipinoNurse.
“Super proud of you,” wrote Sthembele Malgas-Mbele, whose profile says he also works for the cruise line. “You’re not only an amazing friend but you’re an exceptional nurse and your skills are not bound by the confines of the medical center. Great job to you and Christine and Sky was very lucky to have you there when she made her entrance into the world!!”
Carnival said the two nurses were being returned home from the Carnival Breeze cruise ship; the cruise line has been working to return the majority of its crew members home while operations are on hold because of the coronavirus pandemic. Most of the industry paused sailings in mid-March, and Carnival announced Monday that it had canceled all cruises through Sept. 30. A cruise industry association said its members had agreed to extend their pause to Sept. 15.
In an earnings release Thursday, parent company Carnival Corp. said about 60,000 employees had been repatriated to more than 130 countries. Almost all of the roughly 21,000 crew members who work on ships are expected to be back home by the end of the month, the company said.