Nurse helps save man’s life mid-flight

Published: Jun. 3, 2023 at 12:07 PM EDT
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) - A nurse and her boyfriend jumped in to help save a man’s life mid-flight on their way back home from a vacation in the Bahamas.

While in the air on Southwest flight 553, Emily Raines, an acute care nurse at Greater Baltimore Medical Center, and her boyfriend heard a flight attendant calling for anyone with medical experience on the plane because another passenger was having a medical emergency.

“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 said.

With a game plan already set, Raines and her boyfriend, Daniel, who is a former nurse now working in finance, jumped right into action as other passengers emptied out medical bags to assist the man, who had no pulse.

“I see him slumped over in his seat, his face is completely purple. And he’s Caucasian, so it was quite alarming obviously, seeing his face look that way,” Raines said.

Raines and her boyfriend continued with several rounds of compressions for a little more than 30 minutes until landing.

“I would say about 7 minutes before we landed is when we got him back to life,” Raines said.

Emergency personnel took the man to a hospital right away, while Raines and her boyfriend got high fives as they walked back to their seats.

Nobody was more grateful than the wife of that passenger, who sent Raines a kind text of gratitude a week and a half later.

“We’re still not completely sure what happened, he didn’t have a heart attack but obviously his heart stopped, they believe that multiple factors played a role mostly due to his low oxygen levels,” the text read. “I cannot possibly thank you enough for saving his life, there are no words.”

It’s not every day a couple can bond over saving a life but for Raines, her quarterly CPR training at the hospital and the assistance of her boyfriend takes the service of compassionate care to new heights.

“We were amped because it’s so awesome to have that feeling and then afterward, you’re just like ‘Oh wow, we did this, we saved somebody’s life,’” Raines said.