U.S. News


Nurses Rescue Pilot After Mid-Flight Heart Attack

Amy Sorenson and Linda Alweiss left their seats and gave a United Airlines pilot life-saving medical attention after he suffered a heart attack.
Posted at 6:29 PM, Jan 14, 2014

If there's one question you don't want to hear over the loudspeaker in the middle of a flight, it would probably be "Does anyone know how to fly a plane?" That heart-dropping question became a reality on one United Airlines flight. Next thing, 

"It came over the PSA asking if anyone on board had any medical experience... It was Amy Sorenson and Linda Alweiss... who sprang into action... The captain was showing signs of cardiac arrest... I was unable to get a pulse on his wrist." (Via KABC)

With the help of Alweiss' husband, the two women got the pilot out of the cockpit and into the galley where passengers looked on — using a defibrillator and an IV from a medical bag on board to teat him.  (Via KEYT)

They stayed with their patient as the co-pilot made an emergency landing where paramedics met the jetliner on the tarmac. 

"When the interrupted flight resumed the next day, Linda Alweiss found herself seated next to the co-pilot from the night before where she got brought up to date on the captain ... He had survived." (Via KNBC)


"What made it extra special for Linda, her daughter was on board and for the first time, got to see how special her mother's work really is."  (Via WCMH)

Both Alweiss' husband and daughter hail her as a hero, but the modest veteran registered nurse gave all the credit to the other nurse, the flight crew and the more than 150 passengers who kept their cool.