This past December, a military airlift team quickly transported a premature baby from Kuwait to Germany for emergency medical care.
Troops with the North Carolina Air National Guard, including the 156th Airlift Squadron and 145th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, along with members of other medical teams from around the world, worked aboard a C-17 Globemaster III aircraft during the rescue, according to a release from the 145th Airlift Wing.
“[W]e picked up the baby Christmas Day in Kuwait and delivered her to Germany in the same day,” Tech. Sgt. Alejandro Armendariz of the 145th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron said in the statement.
Army Maj. Jeanne Krick, a neonatologist aboard the flight, told Stars and Stripes that the infant girl was born on Nov. 22, more than three months early. Krick works at Brooke Army Medical Center, at Joint Base San Antonio, Texas.
During the final span of the 15,000-mile journey, completing the holiday rescue assignment became even more critical.
“At about 1,000 feet, the infant[’s] vital signs dropped to the point where my team could no longer not intervene without risking her life,” Krick said in the statement.
In addition to an equipment malfunction onboard the aircraft, the baby suffered from a low heart rate and oxygen saturation. Krick told Stripes that a doctor manually pumped air from a bag to assist the baby’s breathing. Ultimately, the medical intervention helped — the next day, the young girl no longer needed a breathing tube.
“All-in-all, I truly cannot say enough wonderful things about this team,” Krick said. “Everyone showed amazing dedication to the mission and to the safety of the entire team and passengers.”
Krick added that the baby is now “doing really well.”
Jonathan is a staff writer and editor of the Early Bird Brief newsletter for Military Times. Follow him on Twitter @lehrfeld_media