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Colin MacKinnon 297 posts

Hi Nick,

Big thanks to your wife. I was on a Ryanair flight last week when the same call went out, and – fortunately – there was someone on board who stepped up. First time I have been on a flight where this has happened.

If I ran BA, I would be sending you a complementary flight or upgrade – as above, I don’t think it happens often enough to break the bank! And no-one would/could fake it.

Great to see the cabin crew tried to show their best – even though Champagne probably wasn’t the ideal gift for someone 20 weeks pregnant (although it might come in useful in a few months time to wet the baby’s head!)

And for certain, if I was the patient, I would want to send some suitable thank you. But some people may think different, so BA might be happy to pass your details on to them, but not vice versa.

I agree it can be traumatic for all – a doctor on holiday mode, and fellow passengers sitting nearby. (I was at the back of the bus on Ryanair, so I have no idea what happened down the front. But if I had been sitting next to them, I would have been tense and nervous, with fingers crossed!)

My colleague (a pilot, but not a medic) was driving past a golf course when a man flagged him down. His pal had had a heart attack and he needed help. My pal got him to phone 999 and performed CPR – don’t worry about remembering how many breaths and compressions, the folk on the phone will tell you each one – and it was at least 10 minutes before the ambulance arrived, and then the helicopter and the police. He was absolutely knackered by the time the paramedics took over. And then they all left, leaving him alone on a golf course alone thinking: what the heck just happened!

He was more than pleased when the man’s family got in touch to thank him – a quick phone call made him happy, although sadly the chap didn’t survive.

Many doctors can have a whole career without knowing whether they have saved someone’s life. A big thanks from me for her work, she should hold her head up high. When the time came, she did her personal, professional and public duty – that’s why medicine is more than a job or a career, it’s a vocation.

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