A North Carolina woman has a few people in particular to be thankful for this Thanksgiving: A group of first responders who helped her deliver her baby girl onboard a Delta Air Lines plane. On Wednesday, Liliana Castaneda Avilia met with the members of the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department who helped bring her first child, Analia, into the world just weeks ago.
Castaneda Avilia was one hour into the flight from Mexico to Raleigh, North Carolina, on November 14 when her water broke, according to the fire department. A nurse onboard helped her through contractions — telling her not to push or the baby would come out — until the plane was able to land in Atlanta three and a half hours later, Castaneda Avilia said in a video posted to the fire department’s Facebook page, appearing to show the Wednesday reunion between the new mother and father and first responders.
“The airplane was coming in exceedingly fast — faster than normal,” one first responder said at the Wednesday reunion.
When the plane landed, fire officials boarded and found Castaneda Avilia on the floor in the back of the plane. With one push, baby Analia was born, the fire department tweeted.
“Once she did deliver, one of the flight attendants got on the microphone, and she was able to say, ‘Hey, we got a baby girl,'” the first responder said. “It was a special occasion.”
“With us as firefighters we don’t deal with many happy moments,” another first responder said at Wednesday’s reunion. “We deal with a lot of chaos and things like that. So being able to experience a moment where you have some happiness — it’s definitely gratifying.”
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport also tweeted about the new arrival.
Both the new mom and baby are healthy and returned to North Carolina on Wednesday after meeting with the first responders, the fire department tweeted.
“Thank you to the people that were in the airplane, like the EMS, the fire department, everybody who helped us,” Castaneda Avilia said, according to CBS affiliate WGCL-TV.