How often do you hear an announcement for a doctor on board during a long flight? That usually means that some passenger is not feeling well and they would want a doctor to have a look at him/her.
There was a story on Toronto Star about two Canadians Ramon Goomber and Ming Li that helped to save a Vietnamese man that was having a heart attack on a Cathay Pacific flight from Toronto to Hong Kong.
You can access the full “Heroes in the sky: Toronto pharmacist, cop save heart attack victim on trans-Pacific flight” article on Toronto Stars website here (below is an excerpt) and there is another article on LiveScience website here.
Ramon Goomber was far above the frigid recesses of Siberia, trying to sleep on an overnight flight to Hong Kong, when his friend Ming Li gave him an abrupt shake.
“Wake up,” said Li, a Toronto police constable. “This guy’s dead over here!”
So began an hours-long struggle to save a man in the throes of a cruising altitude heart attack. Alongside Dave Monks, an Australian doctor also on board, the travelling Torontonians took turns pumping the man’s chest, shocking him with the plane’s defibrillator and injecting him with shots of adrenalin to keep him from dying.
When the Cathay Pacific flight finally made an emergency landing in Beijing, Li and Goomber were soaked in vomit and blood, thoroughly exhausted. But the heart attack victim, a 60-year-old man from Vietnam, went on to recover with no brain damage, a feat his medical saviours wrote about recently in the British Medical Journal.
Cathay Pacific did not respond to repeated requests for comment from the Star, but the men say the gratitude they felt on the Beijing tarmac — passengers and crew applauded them to their seats — didn’t extend too far. After initially promising a comfy, rewarding upgrade to first class on their trip back home, the airline offered just one premium seat, Goomber said.
So the heroes of flight CX825 flew standby back to Toronto, with the newlywed Li in a seat with a broken TV.
It is weird that Cathay Pacific would reverse a promise made to these two passengers that helped to save a mans life. Obviously you are not entitles to anything for helping someone on board, but it would have been nice gesture from the airline to show some appreciation for these two guys.