SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - A couple thought going on a cruise was going to be a great way to relax, since Mom wasn’t due to give birth for three months, but this baby wasn’t going to be left out of the vacation.

For Patrina and Cortaz — giving birth to their first baby was nothing like they had planned.

“So we planned a vacation originally just for being our family get-together/babymoon,” said Cortaz.

The couple boarded a cruise ship in South Florida headed to Jamaica.

Their calendar seemed to be going up to speed, but two days into their vacation things started to take a turn.

“The day after Coco Cay is when we went down by the medical bay, and they were like yeah, you’re in labor, so…” said Patrina with a laugh.

Even though the ship’s medical staff was not prepared, they did everything they could to keep mom and baby safe.

“Even when they had to let us know that like, hey, you know this may not be the best outcome, anything can happen, they were very kind and cordial with that,” said Patrina, “so they ended up laying me down like in an inverted position, pumping magnesium and different medications, so trying to basically delay the birth as much as possible.”

Patrina said, at this point, the ship had already sailed from the Bahamas to Jamaica.

It was on that 10-hour leg of the trip that baby Altair was born.

“My contractions came on,” she said, “I think I was in labor for maybe two hours max. Maybe in three pushes he was out, water, placenta everything came out at the same time,” she said with a laugh.

The situation was extremely risky, as the baby was in need of medical procedures that couldn’t get done on the ship.

Doctors took turns to pump oxygen into Altair’s lungs using heaters to keep him warm.

Once in Jamaica, the family was taken to a local hospital, about an hour away from the port.

Two days later, they were airlifted to Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in South Florida.

“Once we got here it was just like, just a whole weight off the shoulders,” said Cortez.

Altair was about 4 days old when he finally got home.

Doctors credited the crew on board that cruise for saving his life.

“They shared with me a picture where there were nurses with NICU and labor and delivery experience that actually made the delivery and his post-delivery care a lot smoother,” said Dr. Magaly Diaz-Barbosa, director of the Division of Neonatology at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital.

He has left the hospital as a healthy baby boy.

“Altair stayed with us a total of three months,” said Diaz-Barbosa, “which actually, for a premature baby of his gestation, is not necessarily long. He actually just reached his due date. Altair will do very well, I think he will be going home with a loving family, and he has shown us that he’s a strong little boy.”

Mom and Dad said they’re extremely grateful to everyone who crossed their path — especially during those crucial moments on the ship.

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