BALTIMORE – A local nurse and her boyfriend engaged in a heroic act mid-flight on their way back home to Baltimore from a vacation in the Bahamas.
Emily Raines, an acute care nurse at Greater Baltimore Medical Center, was on Southwest flight 553 when she and her boyfriend heard a call from a flight attendant for anyone with medical experience on the plane – as a fellow flyer was having a medical emergency.
Raines and her boyfriend immediately jumped into action as the surrounding passengers rushed to help by providing medical equipment. The ailing man had fallen unconscious with no pulse.
“On our way up there I was trying to pregame like hey if we have to do compressions, I need you to do compressions. I’ll take care of everything else,” Raines described the tense moments during the emergency.
The situation grew dire as the man slumped over in his seat, face completely purple. “It was quite alarming, obviously, seeing his face look that way,” Raines explained.
Performing multiple rounds of compressions, Raines was able to revive the man roughly seven minutes before the plane landed. “I would say about seven minutes before we landed is when we got him back to life,” Raines said.
The man was immediately rushed to the hospital by emergency personnel once the plane had landed. Raines and her boyfriend received enthusiastic high-fives from their fellow passengers for their heroic efforts.
“We’re still not completely sure what happened. He didn’t have a heart attack, but his heart stopped. They believe that multiple factors played a role, mostly due to his low oxygen levels.” shared Raines.
This incredible event has added another layer to Raines and her boyfriend’s bond. Raines, with her routine CPR training at GBMC and the support of her boyfriend, a former nurse now working in finance, took the mantra of compassionate care to new heights.
“We were amped because it’s so awesome to have that feeling, and afterwards, you’re just like, ‘oh wow, we did this, we saved somebody’s life,'” Raines exclaimed.
The incident is a stark reminder of the many selfless acts healthcare professionals engage in, even during their personal time.