Kerri Icovitti Neel, a nurse from York, Maine, is being certainly fits the bill of a hero. She is even being call a “rock star” after she worked to save the life of a fellow passenger aboard a flight from Fort Myers to Boston
It was not long after the trip began that the flight attendants came on the speaker system. A passenger was in distress. Were there any health care professionals aboard? Neel, a longtime practitioner at York Family Practice, immediately responded.
“It was not good,” she said. “She did not look good, and was obviously uncomfortable. It was clear it was either a pulmonary embolism or a heart attack. It came on really quickly and her chest hurt.”
What followed over the next 45 minutes was a “touch and go” situation, with Neel cobbling together treatment for her patient with medicine and medical equipment culled from the airline and other passengers.
“I tried to keep her spirits up as best as I could until she could get the care she needed,” Neel said.
And the care the woman needed was not going to wait until the plane landed in Boston, said Neel. The woman’s blood pressure was 250/150. Although she continued to give her nitro, it was clear to Neel that the woman would die if she did not get to a hospital.
“I insisted that the plane land immediately. I said, ‘We’ve got to get her to an ER.’ There’s protocol the airline has to follow, and the pilot was talking to a doctor on the ground. I guess it’s a big deal to divert a plane, but the pilot said, ‘okay.’ We landed at JFK (in New York) not long afterward,” she said.
Since writing of the experience on Facebook, she said she’s been amazed at the response from family, friends and patients, who have praised her actions.
“People who aren’t in health care don’t realize. It’s just what you do,” she said. “I couldn’t have been there and not done the little I knew I could do.”
See the full story at:https://bangordailynews.com/2015/10/15/news/york/maine-nurse-hailed-as-hero-on-plane/