A pair of doctors aboard a flight from Orlando, Florida, have saved the life of a woman by constructing a makeshift ventilator to help her breathe. Anesthesiologists John Flanagan and Matthew Stevenson were headed to Jamaica for a vacation with their spouses when an elderly woman on the JetBlue flight went into a sudden respiratory arrest. The two medics jumped into action to help save the woman’s life.
Just 20 minutes into the flight from Orlando to Montego Bay, Stevenson noticed the woman was having difficulty breathing, according to a Facebook post from Flanagan’s wife, Xenia. “He flagged John down for help as the lady went into complete respiratory arrest,” Xenia wrote.
The two doctors knew that they had to act fast to help the woman breath properly. They asked the flight crew if there was a hand-operated manual resuscitator on board to keep oxygen flowing to her lungs, but they did not have one. So, the doctors improvised.
Flanagan used rescue breathing to keep the woman alive while Stevenson went about the cabin gathering materials to make a ventilator. Other passengers upheld the woman in prayer as the two medics battled to save her life.
Stevenson managed to cut the tubing and air bag from the emergency masks in the ceiling and managed to connected the two pieces to an oxygen tank that was on board to create a ventilator.
“These two men used the oxygen tanks on board along with airbags to create the tools they needed to save her.. they pushed oxygen into her lungs for 45 mins in the middle of the aisle as the plane made an emergency landing to Ft Lauderdale (as Matthew & John advised),” Xenia continued in her post.
“It was both amazing and terrifying at the same time to witness my husband and his friend do something they do everyday..save someone’s life. It was beautiful to witness so many good samaritans praying and holding them up during the entire ordeal.”
“I’m so thankful God placed them there at the right time.” I know I can speak for Jessica Nauman Stevenson when I say how proud we are to be married to such great men,” Xenia concluded.
“I’m so thankful God placed them there at the right time.”