Retired nurse Tamara Panzino was relaxing and reading a book during a Spirit Airlines flight from Pittsburgh to Orlando when she heard a flight attendant say ‘We have an infant who is not breathing’ followed by an announcement over the public address system.
“Is there a doctor on board?”
Panzino’s instincts quickly took over and she bolted from her seat, according to CNN affiliate WESH, and helped save the baby’s life.
“I didn’t know what I was dealing with,” Panzino told WESH. “I saw an infant. The head was just back. And blue lips … And my heart just dropped.”
Panzino quickly assessed the situation after asking several questions of the parents of the three-month-old, and began vigorously running the baby’s sternum, shaking the child, and pinching the infant all in an effort to get it to cry and take a breath.
The tactics worked.
Panzino watched as the color slowly came back to the baby’s body and it began to breathe again on its own without Panzino having to perform CPR.
“The baby was going to be good. The color came back. I heard breathing sounds. Heard a heartbeat. Oh, my gosh, total relief,” Panzino said.
The flight last Thursday continued on to Orlando and was the latest example of the heroics of medical personnel who happened to be on a flight.
“We extend our deepest gratitude to Tamara for coming to the aid [of] our guests, and we applaud our crew for their quick response,” the airline said in a statement provided to CNN. “Our flight attendants are trained to respond to medical emergencies onboard and utilize several resources, including communicating with our designated on-call medical professionals on the ground, using onboard medical kits, and receiving assistance from credentialed medical professionals traveling on the flight.”
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