Photo by John Schreiber.
Photo by John Schreiber.

A 70-year-old Florida man whose heart stopped beating on a flight out of John Wayne Airport Friday was rescued by two fellow passengers who, lucky for him, happened to be Orange County paramedics.

The victim was aboard United Flight 333, en route home via Houston, when he stood up and felt light-headed and dizzy about 7 a.m., according to Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Steve Concialdi.

“He collapsed right there, so one of the firefighter/paramedics, Alex Van, assisted him to the floor, checked for a pulse,” Concialdi said. “He had stopped breathing and had no pulse, so both he and firefighter/paramedic Donovan George immediately started doing CPR.”

The two paramedics — who were headed to Texas A&M for a weekend Federal Emergency Management Agency conference –“started an IV on him and hooked him up to an auto-external defibrillator,” Concialdi said.

The pilot diverted the flight to Phoenix, where the man was taken to a hospital, Concialdi said. By the time the flight landed about 9:50 a.m. in Arizona, he was talking and saying he wanted to continue on home to Florida, Concialdi said.

City News Service

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