When people get on an airplane, whether flying internationally or domestically, they expect some in-house entertainment, a nice drink and a smooth flight. Sure there’s often some unavoidable turbulence and other things than can happen in the air, but for the most part these days, flying is a pleasant experience.
When Rose and her daughter Morgan got on a flight to Salt Lake City, the last thing they were expecting was to save a man’s life. How did they even manage it all those miles up in the skies?
When the plane took off from Asheville en-route to Salt Lake City, the mother and daughter settled into their seats and waited for take off. The flight was packed but everyone seemed in a good mood and even the domestic flight attendants were smiling and friendly.
The flight was only supposed to be a couple of hours, and with the movie showing and the drinks being served time was flying by nicely just as Rose and Morgan had hoped it would. They didn’t hate flying but they just wanted to reach their destination already, and Morgan was a nervous passenger…
Usually on domestic flights, the pilot or co-pilot will make a verbal appearance at least once over the speakers. They welcome the travellers, offer some info about the route, and tell everyone how high the plane is flying and what altitude they will reach.
Morgan, 26, graduated with honors from nursing school back in 2016. Her mom Rose couldn’t have been prouder, especially as she was a nurse too. Morgan soon secured a job at the Mission Hospital near to where she lives, and had been working there already for a while, in a training capacity…
Springing Into Action
It’s just as well that two qualified nurses were on that flight, especially as there wasn’t a doctor on board. When the pilot announced something on the microphone, the mother daughter duo didn’t think twice and rushed to the front of the plane.
When the women arrived at the front of the aircraft, they were greeted by a man who appeared to be in his 60s, looking worse for wear and barely conscious. The man was unresponsive, slouched in his seat, with his shirt covered in vomit…
“When we saw him, my mom and I looked at each other, and we were like ‘Oh, God,’” Morgan said. Thankfully, Rose had 30 years of experience dealing with emergency medical situations such as these. She soon took the lead, and tried to figure out what was wrong with the poor man.
Brink Of Death
The man at the front of the plane wasn’t looking good, and only getting worse. The women took his blood pressure, noting it was extremely low at just 56/30. According to Morgan, the man was “On the brink of death.” He was in hypovolemic shock, probably from extreme dehydration, and badly needed fluids…
According to Rose, who was unwittingly becoming an impromptu hero aboard this domestic Delta flight, “His blood pressure was too low. If somebody hadn’t done something to correct that, he probably would’ve gone into cardiac arrest and died.” Rose explained.
Rose and Morgan worked tirelessly to stabilize the man until the plane reached its destination. Working instinctively like a well-oiled machine, Morgan handed Rose a needle and catheter from the on-board medical kit in an attempt to hook the man up to an IV…
As the fluid entered the man’s veins, his blood pressure increased slightly and stabilized. He really needed two or three liters of saline but the women made do as best they could with the limited equipment they had available to them on the flight.
The women were sweating as they worked on the man. They were also in radio contact with a physician on the ground who was advising them. “It was like walking a tight rope, keeping him all right with what we had available,” Rose said…
A few minutes passed by and there were signs of hope when the man regained consciousness. He was even able to speak and sip water by himself, although was dazed and confused about where he was. Once the plane had landed, paramedics took over and stabalized him further.
Not only did the pilot personally thank Morgan and Rose on the plane’s speaker system, a flight attendant also gave them a bottle of wine and Delta vouchers for their next flight. Meanwhile, Michael Thomas from Delta, said the company, “sincerely appreciates the efforts of these medical professionals who came to the aid of one of our customers who fell ill on a recent flight.”…
An interesting fact also came out as an upshot of the incident. Rose and Morgan noted that the flight, which was supposed to be 4.5 hours in duration, made it to its destination in under three hours! ” The pilot hadn’t diverted the plane, but he definitely sped it up.” Rose said.
Growing up, Morgan followed her mother’s lead and often volunteered at the hospital where her mom worked, enjoying watching her in action whenever she could. “Morgan kinda followed in my footsteps,” Rose said, and Morgan agrees…
“I didn’t think I’d ever get to work with my mom because she’s approaching retirement,” Morgan said. “As down on his luck as that guy was, he actually gave me a neat experience with my mom. I’m just glad he was all right and got to spend time with his mom, too.” she added. The fact the man was ok meant that Morgan didn’t feel so bad about the fact she felt exhilarated by the whole experience.
Regardless of everything else, there’s no question that Rose and Morgan were real heroes on that day. For her part, Morgan was never the biggest fan of flying, but as she said, “I didn’t feel like I was in the air, thousands of feet above the world. I just got tunnel vision and focused on him and my mom.”…
This story isn’t the only example of nurses on a flight saving a person’s life. Back in May 2017, a nurse called Courtney Donton saved the life of a woman who was having a cardiac arrest on a flight form New Jersey. At the time all she had at her disposal was a spoon and a toothpick, but they did the trick to save a life, “I got off the plane and onto the tarmac with her. She was nervous,” Donlon said. “I gave a report to the paramedics. She asked me to get off with her and hold her hand until she was with the paramedics. She was traveling alone. And we really created a trusting relationship — a bond. She felt safe, I hope, that she was under my care.”
It’s just as well that there was a happy ending to this story, otherwise the prognosis could have been a whole lot worse. Obviously, medical professionals can’t be on each and every flight, whether international or domestic. However, luckily for this man, Morgan and Rose were on hand to save his life, and for that he is surely eternally thankful.