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Dublin: 4 °C Thursday 20 February, 2020

Family launches crowdfunding campaign to bring baby, born in Ireland after diverted flight, home

Baby Zoe Ireland Drake was born in Dublin’s Rotunda Hospital after her mother went into labour on board an American Airlines flight bound for the US.

4273713594_f6fd7e18bb_o Source: Bridget Coila

AN ONLINE CROWDFUNDING campaign has been launched in order to pay for a baby girl born here prematurely to be transported back to her home in the US.

Baby Zoe Ireland Drake was born to her American parents at the Rotunda Hospital in Dublin after her mother’s waters broke suddenly on an American Airlines flight.

The plane was subsequently diverted here in order for Zoe, whose mother was just 25 weeks into her pregnancy, to be born with appropriate medical facilities.

Her parents Gavin and Jenny have now launched an online Gofundme campaign to pay for a medical flight to transport Zoe back to her home in Tennessee.

At present Zoe could not survive the 9.5 hour flight home without medical attention due to the premature nature of her birth.

“They are all so thankful and feel so blessed that they are able to be together, and that Zoe is doing so well, but they are ready to be back home in Tennessee as a family,” a statement on the funding page reads.

Jenny and Gavin have been looking into a medical flight to get Zoe back home. Unfortunately, the insurance company is not going to cover this, because Zoe is getting adequate care in Ireland.

20/9/2007 Rotunda Hospitals


Due to Zoe’s plight her family have spent Christmas and the New Year in Ireland.

Currently the funding campaign for the $67,000 medical flight stands at just over $23,000.

Both Zoe’s parents are self-employed so their continued stay in Ireland is posing a strain on their finances. Their son Aiden was however able to spend the holidays with his family here.

Jenny had been on board the flight from Paris to North Carolina in October for about an hour when her contractions started.

Her situation was extremely precarious as with only 25 weeks gone in the pregnancy (average duration for a normal pregnancy would be between 37 and 41 weeks) she knew that her baby would require medical attention the moment she was born.

She previously described the experience as “terrifying”.

“Basically, my biggest fear was delivering on the plane because of course she had no medical attention and I knew that her lungs had not been developed and that could have been her demise,” Jenny said at the time.

After baby Zoe Ireland (named for her birth country) was delivered her family released a statement saying “we appreciate the fantastic response and support we have received from everyone including airline staff, fellow passengers, emergency personnel and the medical, midwifery and nursing staff at the Rotunda Hospital”.

Read: Tesco ordered to pay former worker €41,000 after her dismissal for not paying for a fried breakfast

Read: Emergency landing at Dublin Airport after woman goes into premature labour on board

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