Australia

'My heart is numb': Baby dies on AirAsia flight to Perth from Kuala Lumpur

WA Police have confirmed a baby has died on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Perth on Monday morning. Source: LightRocket

An infant has died following a medical emergency onboard an AirAsia flight from Malaysia to Western Australia and police will prepare a report for the coroner.

A two-month-old baby has died following a medical emergency onboard an AirAsia flight from Kuala Lumpur to Perth.

Emergency teams were called to Perth International Airport earlier today, after reports of a medical emergency involving an infant on board a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Perth.

Flight crews on board Air Asia Flight D7236 were met on the ground by West Australian police and medical response teams.  

Police later confirmed that, at 5.50am local time, they were notified of a 2-month-old baby girl being dead on arrival from Kuala Lumpur.

Police said they are not treating the death as suspicious, but declined to comment on the circumstances of the death or the child’s medical situation.

Passengers on board the flight used social media to describe the "chaos” as desperate attempts to resuscitate the child failed. 

An AirAsia spokesman said the plane was met by police and paramedics when it arrived at Perth Airport on Monday morning.

"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."

The incident caused the delay of a subsequent AirAsia flight from Perth to Kuala Lumpur by 4 hours, leaving passengers waiting in the terminal.  

A spokesperson for Air Asia said the safety of its passengers was the airline’s number one priority and that it was cooperating fully with Australian authorities.

'Confronting' last breath

The woman who held a two-month-old baby girl in her arms as she took "her last dying breath" has described the infant's death as confronting.

Farah, from Saudi Arabia, was restless and crying at the start of the flight, so former nurse Nadia Parenzee offered to help because she could see the new parents were stressed.

Later, as Ms Parenzee was closing her eyes to sleep, a flight attended tapped her on the shoulder to ask for help.

"The parents offered the baby to me with desperation in their eyes," she wrote on social media.

"Then baby Farah took her last breath and went limp.

"I immediately knew something was horribly wrong and shouted out to the passengers to see if there were any doctors onboard."

Mr Parenzee described the next two-and-a-half hours as chaos, with resuscitation attempts continuing until the plane landed at Perth Airport on Monday morning.

"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 ... before she passed," she said.

Ms Parenzee said the family had been planning to start a new life in Australia.

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