BOSTON (WHDH) - Two sisters from Wayland are describing how they sprang into action to save a passenger’s life midflight last week.
Wayland Firefighter and Paramedic Lindsay Byrne and her sister, Nicole Kelly, who works as a nurse at Lahey Hospital in Burlington, were on a JetBlue flight from Logan Airport to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida last week when a woman was found unresponsive in the plane’s lavatory.
After the pilot asked if anyone with a medical background was on the flight, the sisters, along with a Florida firefighter, jumped into action and assessed the woman.
“When it happened, I actually was asleep right before and I heard the announcement and I took my earbuds out and just ran,” Kelly said in a interview beside her sister. “It was just an instinct to run to the front.”
“When they announced it, it was no different than having a tone go off at work,” Byrne said. “It was kind of just like ‘oh, they need help,’ get up and go.”
With the firefighter who joined them, the three found the woman was unconscious, had grayish-blue skin, a faint pulse and was having difficulty breathing. They soon determined she was having a diabetic emergency, and went to work clearing her airway and administering sugar packets orally to help her regain consciousness.
“We had carried her out of the restroom and she was unresponsive at that time,” Byrne explained. “We realized that the patient, she was a diabetic.”
“We were up in a plane, so we had limited resources, so we kinda had to work together and figure out the best way to help the passenger until we were able to safely land,” Kelly added.
The woman was taken to a local hospital via ambulance once the plane landed.
Chief Neil McPherson of the Wayland Fire Department said that this incident is what first responders and medical professionals train for.
“I commend Lindsay and Nicole for working together and utilizing both of their unique skill sets to take this swift, lifesaving action while flying aboard an aircraft,” Chief McPherson said.
The sisters said they appreciated the praise that has been going around, but that, as Chief McPherson noted, what they did was all part of the job.
“It’s nice to know you can help people, but at the same time, you don’t do it to get recognized, you do it to help people,” Byrne said.
The sisters told 7NEWS last week was the first time they had ever responded to an emergency together.
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