GREENSBORO, N.C. -- It was the last thing he expected on a flight from Paris to New York, but Dr. Sij Hemal was about to get a first-class ticket in a way he never imagined.

That’s after a passenger on the flight, Toyin Ogundipe found herself in labor 35,000 feet in the air.

Dr. Hemal is a Wake Forest School of Medicine grad and is in his second year as a urology resident at Cleveland Clinic’s Glickman Urological and Kidney Institute.

He was aboard the flight after attending a wedding. He and another doctor, Susan Shepherd--a pediatrician, found themselves getting ready to help deliver a baby.

Ogundipe went into labor about midway into the flight as the jet flew away from the southern coast of Greenland.

Both doctors suggested Ogundipe be moved to the first-class section.

“My ticket to first class,” said Dr. Hemal with a laugh.

As Ogundipe's contractions accelerated the doctors knew they were in for a delivery.

“I just tried to think ahead to what might go wrong and come up with a creative solution,” said Dr. Hemal, who delivered seven babies during medical school.


Thirty minutes later, Ogundipe gave birth to a baby boy whom she named Jake.

See the Cleveland Clinic's full article here.