(West Shore RCMP)

An off-duty West Shore RCMP officer was in for an unexpected surprise when he boarded a flight in February.

On February 20th, Constable Rob Renner boarded a flight and, having just completed a graveyard shift, fell asleep shortly after takeoff. 

Soon, Renner was awoken to the sound of the flight crew requesting any doctors or nurses onboard to identify them. 

Renner immediately let the crew know he was a former nurse and learned there was a passenger on board who had possibly gone into labour. 

28-year-old Sadie Ussak, from Arviat, Nunavut, told Renner she was only 31 weeks pregnant. 

Renner, realizing the severity of the situation, took over responsibility and drew on his previous medical training to assist. 

Together with the flight crew, Ussak was taken to a safe location on the plane to ease her discomfort and provide some privacy while medical care was provided. 

Renner monitored her contractions, confirming she was in premature labour which poses many possible risks and a proper neonatal team is essential to premature infant survival.

As a result, Renner directed the pilot to divert to the nearest hospital. 

“He was calming me down and telling me I was going to be okay, it felt good to have him there,” said Mrs. Ussak.

The plane diverted to Thompson, Manitoba successfully where it was met by an ambulance and Ussak was transported to the Thompson General Hospital immediately. 

“I was really happy to be in the right place at the right time and able to help Mrs. Ussak get to the hospital as quick as possible to have her baby,” said Constable Renner.

Baby Larissa Ussak was born just after 1 a.m. the next morning, weighing in at 3 ½ pounds. 

Both baby and mom are healthy and are now home and thriving.

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