A woman has opened up about the harrowing moment she held a dying two-month-old baby in her arms on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Perth on Monday morning.
Nadia Parenzee was a passenger on AirAsia flight D7236 and offered to help a Saudi couple care for their crying daughter. She noticed the pair became distressed after not being able to settle down their baby girl, named Farah.
Ms Parenzee, who is a mother and former nurse, believed the baby was just hungry after saw a flight attendant hand the parents a bottle.
‘A Saudi couple were on their way to start a new life for themselves here in Australia,’ she wrote on Facebook. At the start of the flight the baby was really restless and cried continuously. I offered the parents and the staff some assistance as I could see that the new parents were stressed. As I closed my eyes to catch some sleep the Air Asia hostess tapped me on the shoulder to help her.’
The desperate parents handed over their baby girl to Ms Parenzee, who recited a verse from the Quran, praying the child calms down. Soon after, Farah went limp and Ms Parenzee yelled out for doctors to help her.
‘I was screaming “we need a doctor, we need a doctor” and about 20 people came running,’ she told ABC News. Doctors performed CPR on the baby as her distraught parents watched on in horror.
Ms Parenzee asked the pilot about making an emergency landing and was given the option of Jakarta and Perth.
The plane then headed to Perth in the hopes of being able to get instant medical assistance. Doctors continued working on the baby, attempting to resuscitate her for the next two-and-a-half hours as they reached Perth.
Medical staff took over on the tarmac but was unable to be saved. ‘My heart is numb and I don’t know how to feel but I am honestly honoured to have held her and read a prayer on her before she passed,’ she wrote.
She praised the staff on board the Air Asia flight, ‘you were amazing and I commend your professionalism.’ An AirAsia spokesman confirmed the plane was met by police and paramedics when it landed following a ‘medical emergency’.
‘The safety and well-being of our guests is always our number one priority, and in accordance with procedure, the flight crew requested medical assistance on landing,’ he said.
‘Our thoughts are with the infant and family involved.’ Police say the infant’s death is not suspicious but a report will be prepared for the coroner.
The same aircraft, which was scheduled to return to Kuala Lumpur at 6.50am, was delayed by four hours as a result of the death.