ORLANDO, Fla. —
An Orlando nurse who helped deliver a premature baby on a Southwest Airlines flight said she didn’t think twice about jumping in to help.
Baby “Jet” was born 14 weeks early on Sunday and remains in the Intensive Care Unit.
Loretta Bledose works on the business side at Orlando Health, but she was a nurse for 40 years.
That experience was crucial on her way home from a wedding in Philadelphia when a woman went into labor on her flight.
“She said, ‘My water broke. I’m pregnant. My water broke.’ I said, ‘How pregnant are you?’ She said, ’26 weeks.’ I said, ‘Oh, my God,’” said Bledose.
A flight attendant handed Bledose some gloves, and minutes later, the baby was born.
“There was a bulge there and I put my hands down and eased the baby out. She had a little two pound baby,” said Bledose.
A doctor on the plane also helped.
The baby wasn’t due until March 8 and had been cleared to fly by her doctor.
The mother is a nurse at Parrish Medical Center in Titusville, and Bledose said she remained calm throughout the ordeal.
“She kept apologizing, and I said, ‘Honey, this is out of your control,’” said Bledose.
Bledose held the tiny baby in a blanket as the pilot diverted the plane to Charleston, South Carolina.
“I just kept praying, and every breath, I just kept saying, ‘Keep doing it baby, keep doing it,’” said Bledose.
When it was time for landing, Bledose was on her knees, holding the baby tight.
“I was just hanging on to mom and baby, and I said, ‘Just land, and we’ll be OK,’ and we were,” Bledose said.
The mother and baby were rushed to the hospital. Bledose continued on to Orlando, thankful she played in a role in what she calls a miracle.
“I believe that God puts you where you need to be. I truly believe that,” Bledose said.