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Southwest Planeful of Doctors Comes in Handy for Ailing Flier

Image: Southwest Planeful of Doctors Comes in Handy for Ailing Flier
Retired Air Force Col. Tom McCay and his wife Maggie. (posted video screengrab

By    |   Monday, 13 Mar 2017 06:44 AM

A Southwest planeful of doctors came in handy when a passenger fell unconscious on a flight from Atlanta to Houston.

Retired Air Force Col. Tom McCay fell ill while sitting next to his wife Maggie and eventually lost consciousness, reported KPRC-TV. Her call for help was heard by more than a dozen doctors on the flight returning from a conference.

"I screamed 'I need a doctor. I need a doctor,'" Maggie McCay told the television station. "And within seconds people were surrounding us."

The doctors worked on stabilizing McCay, whose heart rate had dropped, and helped him regain consciousness.

"I was seats behind the couple but the wife started panicking and calling out for help," Dr. Jeffrey Aycock, an oral surgeon at University of Texas Medical Branch, told NBC News. "It became obvious that it was an emergency and I rushed to jump right in, squeezing through the tight seats to get to the patient."

Aycock was joined by Dr. Andrew Grant, a professor of internal medicine; Dr. Kristen Moore, an allergist at Houston Allergy; Dr. Lenora Noroski, an allergist at the Texas Children's Hospital; and Dr. David Corry, a pulmonologist at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

Aycock said McCay was semiconscious, but still sweaty and cold, when the airliner started landing in Houston. Doctors laid him down across three seats to open his airway and to make sure oxygen was getting to his brain.

"He had a strong but very, very low pulse rate which we were worried about," Aycock said, per NBC News. "We knew, however, that he was going to be OK from his stable blood pressure counts."

McCay told KPRC-TV that his first concern when he regained consciousness was his wife.

"As soon as I opened my eyes I tried to let (Maggie) know I was OK," McCay told the television station. "And they continued to stabilize me and monitor my progress back."

NBC News said the flight landed in Houston as scheduled and a local medical staff met McCay.

"We are beyond grateful for the aid provided by several medical professionals to stabilize the passenger," Dan Landson, a Southwest Airlines spokesman.

McCay, still waiting for test results, told KPRC-TV he feels fine and is grateful.

"I just want to say thank you, thank you, thank you. It was wonderful," he said.

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A Southwest planeful of doctors came in handy when a passenger fell unconscious on a flight from Atlanta to Houston.
southwest, plane, doctors
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2017-44-13
Monday, 13 Mar 2017 06:44 AM
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