Nurse saves life of fellow passenger who went into cardiac arrest on a flight home from Thailand - The Leamington Observer

Nurse saves life of fellow passenger who went into cardiac arrest on a flight home from Thailand

Leamington Editorial 18th Aug, 2020 Updated: 18th Aug, 2020   0

A WARWICK Hospital nurse saved the life of a fellow passenger who went into cardiac arrest on a flight home from Thailand.

Isobel Corrie from Wootton Wawen was just about to graduate from Oxford Brookes University and start her first role as a qualified nurse at Warwick Hospital.

She was asleep on the flight after a two-week holiday to Thailand when there was a call over the tannoy asking for anyone with medical experience.

Fellow passenger James Birch, who was also travelling home after a holiday with his partner, had gone into sudden cardiac arrest three and a half hours into the flight.

James said: “Despite only recently having qualified, an amazing young lady stepped forward when the call for help was made, and pulled me back from a flat-line cardiac arrest.

“In the cramped environment of a long-haul aircraft at 38,000 feet she managed the small cabin crew team for 45 minutes until we could divert to a suitable airport with a hospital close by. Thanks to the CPR she administered and the use of the onboard defibrillator, my life was saved.

“The emergency care she supervised was so thorough that despite the length of time that the event continued for, I have suffered very little in health consequences as a result. If she had not stepped forward I would not be here to tell the story.”

James has nominated Isobel for the Patient’s Choice category of the Royal College of Nursing (RCNI) Awards 2020.

He added: “This brave young lady saved my life when it would have been easier to sit quietly and do nothing. I am in no doubt whatsoever that had she not stepped forward I would not be here to recount the story today. As much as I genuinely believe she deserves this award more than anyone else on earth, it would not be anywhere near enough to express our eternal gratitude for what she did.”

Isobel now works in the gastrointestinal surgery department at Warwick Hospital and says she is shocked to have been nominated and the incident was ‘surreal’.

She said: “Doing compressions for the first time cramped into an aisle was surreal and when you are a student you always have someone watching over you to make sure you are doing it right.

“I told myself that I was all this man had and I was going to do my best, and that nobody was watching and I was not being judged.”

She and James now keep in touch on social media and Isobel is enjoying her career in nursing.

She added: “My first year as a nurse has been a rollercoaster – lots of highs and lows and valuable learning experiences, but this is a real high. I am in such a supportive team and I am enjoying being a nurse so much.”

Visit to vote for Isobel by Friday August 28.

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