Saturday, April 23, 2005

First class doctor -- Economy class paramedic

I was on the plane from Dulles to Nice via Frankfurt. I don't like flying and can't get too much inside an airplane before I start feeling very uncomfortable so, as usual, I have asked to be seated toward the front of the plane. It is completely irrational as it would not make much of a difference in case of an accident but it makes flying bearable. I'm lucky tonight: the two seats on my left are empty. A man is seated on the last seat of the middle row. I'll be able to sleep stretched on the next seat.
The flight attendant comes to ask us to move several seats back to accommodate a family of four seated completely separated from each other. I apologize and tell her that I can't do that for fear to be totally sick within minutes of taking off.
She can't force me to move and goes away quite upset. I smile to the man at the end of the row who has not said a word. He seems very quiet and smiles back. About 5 minutes later, the flight attendant comes back with a woman and a kid. The kid sits next to me, the woman next to the guy.

We were in the air for less than an hour when the man fainted and collapsed. Flight attendants are rushing to his seat, grabbing him by the shoulders and hauling him in the small space between the toilets located a few seats behind us. We hear an announcement "Is there a doctor in economy class? We need a doctor in economy class right away." A couple more announcements. They need a device to measure blood pressure and heart beat and one to gauge the sugar level in the blood. It sounds serious.
A couple of seats in front of me is the start of the business section. A guy opens the curtain and waves at the flight attendant. "I am a doctor. Can I help?"
The replies is priceless "No thanks. We are looking for a doctor in economy class".
There is already someone working at the sick man's side and I hear him telling the doctor still standing behind the curtain. "I'm a paramedic. There is a doctor with me and she is doing great. We should be alright without extra help."
The doctor nods and disappears, maybe to catch up with the movie still playing. The sick passenger comes back to his seat about 20 minutes later. He smiles to everybody around with a smile that says "sorry to have disturbed your peaceful flight". His face apologizing to his fellow travellers. He cannot know that the flight attendant made sure that his plight would remain invisible to the passengers behind the class curtains.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was an American Airlines flight ?

6:46 PM  
Blogger Just said...

No. A Lufthansa flight.

10:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ahh, they were German.

3:39 PM  

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