By Michael Levenson, Globe Staff
It was already a packed flight from Amsterdam to Boston, but passengers and crew were more than happy to make room for one extra person this morning when a Ugandan woman gave birth to a baby girl.
Two doctors aboard Northwest Airlines flight 59 sprang into action when the call came across the Boeing 757's public address system for a medical emergency. The physicians found a woman 8-1/2 months pregnant and moaning with severe abdominal pain. She was obviously in labor and the child's head had already crowned, according to the doctors.
As the plane cruised somewhere over Canada, the doctors laid the woman across a row of seats in coach class while a husband and wife from Danvers held up a blanket to create a makeshift delivery room. Flight attendants grabbed a medical bag and handed the doctors surgical gloves, a clamp, and scissors. At about 9 a.m., the woman gave birth to a 6-1/2 pound baby girl she named Sasha.
"She looked perfect," said Dr. Paresh Thakkar, a family physician from Methuen. "She opened her eyes and was very happy. She was so calm, she didn't cry at all."
Thakkar was assisted by Dr. Natarajan Raman, a radiology oncologist from Minneapolis. They snipped and clamped the umbilical cord and handed the girl to her mother. The entire plane burst into applause.
When the flight landed at Logan International Airport at 10:30 a.m., mother and daughter were whisked by ambulance to Massachusetts General Hospital, where they are reported to be doing well.
Customs officials said that Sasha was deemed a Canadian citizen, because she was born over Canadian airspace. The name of the mother was not released.
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