Christian Hospital Staffer Comes to the Rescue on St. Louis-bound Flight
By Bret Berigan
When passengers on AirTran flight 795 from Atlanta to St. Louis on Nov. 5 heard the overhead call for medical assistance, - like a superhero wearing a CH jacket - came to the rescue.
"I was returning home on that flight and when I heard the request for emergency medical help I automatically hit the call button," says Seriosa, who's been part of the CH ER team since 2003; and with Abbott Ambulance as an EMT for 12 years prior to that. "The flight attendant came over and said a passenger a couple rows behind me appeared to be having a heart attack, so I just did what comes natural and that's take action."
Unbeknownst to Seriosa was CH board member Dave Malone sitting in the same row as him across the aisle.
"He sprung into action," recalls Malone. "Until this moment I hadn't noticed Christian, and to see him emerge from his seat wearing a CH jacket and shirt was really spectacular. As a CH board member it was a very proud moment."
Seriosa made his way back to the passenger, a 50ish woman with a history of heart disease. "I really did the same there as if she had come into our ER or wherever faced with this type of situation," says Seriosa modestly. "I asked her medical history to determine how serious the situation could potentially be and learned she has a cardiac history and was carrying nitro medication. So I helped her administer that and calmed her down and let her know an ambulance would be at the gate and I sat with her during the landing and waited with her until emergency medical service personnel entered the plane to take her by ambulance to a hospital."
"Christian was able to stabilize and prepare 'his patient' for landing, utilizing what limited resources where available in the plane's emergency kit as well," says Malone. "After the plane's landing, Christian was able to bring the first responders at the airport up to speed for a seamless transition of care. He did a great job that afternoon and provided comfort and service to this lady without hesitation or second thought. It was truly remarkable to witness this job well-done."
"It's one of those things you don't think twice about doing, at least for me, it's pretty much second nature," says Seriosa. "I've had to jump to the rescue before and didn't think any different this time. But later when I was off the plane it really hit me when a little boy came up to me and said what a good job I did. Then I realized people were actually watching me. Hearing that boy say that to me was very rewarding and it stuck with me the rest of the day."
Seriosa will be formally recognized on Dec. 13 for his actions on the flight with a resolution from CH Board of Directors.