By: Mond Ortiz
It was a normal duty day for Philippine Airlines flight attendant Mae Anne Manipud. She was one of the cabin crew on board a Philippine Airlines flight taking them Auckland, New Zealand to Manila, Philippines. During boarding, Mae assisted an 84-year old senior citizen who was travelling alone, Nanay Erlinda. The flight attendant shared a short conversation with Nanay Erlinda. Mae described Nanay Erlinda as a happy person.
During a lull period midflight, Mae was about to clean the lavatories when a man started calling for help with an urgent tone. Mae rushed to attend to the man and saw Nanay Erlinda unconscious with no pulse. It would have been a moment of panic for Mae but she controlled her emotions and put into practice what she learned from the grueling flight attendant training.
The normal procedure here is the attending flight attendant informs the purser and requests for a medical practitioner on board. As this happens, the flight attendant examines the victim before applying CPR or any procedure. Just when Mae was about to apply CPR, someone touched her shoulder, a doctor was on board. The doctor then performed all necessary procedures while the crew assisted making use of the on-board medical equipment. All these are happening at 41,000ft above the ground.
Gladly, the eyes of Nanay Erlinda moved but pulse was palpatory so the crew assisted the doctor on board.
When things were deemed to be addressed, another passenger suffered a medical emergency, who was just a few rows away. The passenger was suffering an anxiety attack and as the other crew members dashed to attend to the 2nd passenger, another doctor came by and attended to the passenger.
After an hour, a third passenger suffered an asthma attack. As the crew proceeded right away to attend to the passenger, another doctor right away stepped forward. All passengers were well taken cared of as doctors on board attended to them assisted by the crew.
Mae then realized something special that day. There were not only three doctors, nor four, but there were a total of 17 doctors on board PAL flight 219 back to Manila! Not only that, two of the other cabin crew Mark Mauricio and K-Anne Meneses were nurses so they knew what to do right away.
All three passengers were also provided each an oxygen bottle to use.
Mae also did go through some stomach pains later on and the doctors gave her some medicines after the flight.
Everyone was safe, thanks to the swift action of the PAL purser on board Ms. Matche Manuel together with her cabin crew, and most especially, the 17 doctors on board. They took extra care of the three passengers while the rest of the crew attended to the others.
It was indeed a miracle on board PAL 219. Despite three passengers undergoing life-threatening medical conditions, everyone arrived safely. Thank you to the highly trained cabin crew, and the doctors who all assisted each other in taking care of the three passengers. Thanks also to the PAL aircraft being fully equipped with medical equipment and first aid kit.
To Mae, it was a reminder that there are indeed no coincidences in this world. Everything happens for a reason, and indeed, there was a special reason why God placed 17 doctors together with two cabin crew nurses on board PR219.
It was not a normal flight for Mae, it was a special one, a flight in which she described as "God was onboard this flight." As Mae headed home after her flight, she stopped and looked up to the sky with a smile, thanking God that she is a flight attendant, and for feeling His presence on board.
God did send his angels onboard PR219, and these were the cabin crew and the 17 doctors.