In September of 1983, Margaret Kruger of Stuart, Florida, went into labor three months early. She was put into an air ambulance helicopter heading to Tampa…but the baby wasn’t going to wait that long. So pilot Ron Ray made an emergency landing in a cow pasture near Okeechobee, and a baby girl was born soon after the landing.
“Everyone was rushing around, getting the incubator out of the helicopter it wouldn’t open inside and trying to get the baby to breathe […] Cow manure was everywhere caked on the incubator and helicopter skids.”
The baby weighed less than two pounds and spent the next three months in the hospital. Despite being given a 20% chance of survival, she lived.
Her name? Kimberly Sunshine — Kimberly because it means “field” or “clearing” (in part*) and Sunshine because it recalls “the sunshine that surrounded her the day she was born.”
*The “ly” part of Kimberly comes from a word meaning “field,” but the “kimber” part is based on any of several Old English names (e.g., Cyneburga, Cynebald).
- Plarski, Pat. “Baby Born in Copter Beating All the Odds.” Palm Beach Post 25 Mar. 1984.
- Swartz, Sally. “Pilot Visits Girl who was Born in his Helicopter.” Palm Beach Post 28 Jun. 1992.