(CNN)This definitely wasn’t what Dr. Sij Hemal was expecting when he booked a flight with Air France from India to the United States.
Hemal was tired. The second-year urology resident at Cleveland Clinic’s Glickman Urological and Kidney Institute had spent his entire day traveling. He started in New Delhi, stopped in Paris and was now headed to New York, where he would catch a connecting flight to Cleveland — his final destination.
He needed a nap. The 27-year-old had planned to watch the movie “Side Effects,” enjoy a glass of champagne and fall asleep.
But before he could have that drink, everything changed. A flight attendant was looking for any doctors on board. So Hemal got out of his seat and went to offer what help he could.
It was then he discovered that 41-year-old Toyin Ogundipe had gone into labor as the plane skirted the southern coast of Greenland, 35,000 feet below. “She was complaining of back pain,” Hemal told CNN. “At first, I thought it might be kidney stones, but after she told me she was pregnant, I knew she was going into labor.”