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After 20-year wait, Virgin birth joy 30,000ft over the Sahara

A BANK clerk had good reason to celebrate Mother's Day yesterday after becoming the first woman to give birth mid-air on a Virgin Atlantic flight. And to remember the unusual event, the little Nigerian girl is to be named Virginia. Abimbola Eduwa (28) was flying with her 19-month-old son Ogbenetega yesterday morning from Lagos to London to visit relatives. She had been assured that the birth was at least a month away.

A BANK clerk had good reason to celebrate Mother's Day yesterday after becoming the first woman to give birth mid-air on a Virgin Atlantic flight.

And to remember the unusual event, the little Nigerian girl is to be named Virginia.

Abimbola Eduwa (28) was flying with her 19-month-old son Ogbenetega yesterday morning from Lagos to London to visit relatives. She had been assured by doctors that the birth of her second child was at least a month away.

But just one hour into the six-and-a-half hour flight, at 30,000ft above the Sahara Desert, Mrs Eduwa went into labour.

Luckily there was a doctor and a nurse on board flight VS652, and she gave birth to a healthy 8lb girl.

The plane was rerouted back to Lagos, where Mrs Eduwa and her daughter were taken to a medical centre near their home in the city. Mrs Eduwa said: "The baby was not ready yet - this one came as a surprise. I was just sitting down and suddenly I realised that the head was already through."

Her husband Chris said: "They said I should call her Virginia, I think we will. We usually pray for a name but Virginia is fine." Surgeon Dr Olarewaja Oladipo (40) helped deliver the baby.

Virgin Atlantic boss Sir Richard Branson was "thrilled" at the birth and has offered Virginia free flights until she is 21. "We have waited 20 years for our first Virgin birth," he said.

The airline may name a plane Virgin Birth to commemorate the event.

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