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Nurse on JetBlue flight credited with saving the life of fellow passenger

If only Courtney Donlon can be a passenger on all JetBlue flights.

Donlon, a 22-year-old from New Jersey, it is only working as a nurse for nine months, but already she is being credited with saving the life of an airline passenger who have experience with a cardiac event halfway through the flight.

Donlon was on the way from Las Vegas to Newark, N. J. (via a connecting flight in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.) when a colleague JetBlue passenger began experiencing stabbing pain in her arm, neck and shoulder. The flight crew asked through the loudspeaker if anyone aboard the plane was a medical professional, at which point Donlon awoke from her nap and immediately began to help.

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“I stood up and walked to the flight attendant. As soon as I said that I was a nurse, they let me start with the review of the woman in need,” said Conlon MyCentralJersey.com.

“I introduced myself — told her that I was Courtney and I worked at the Robert Wood Johnson [University Hospital, in New Brunswick] and what kind of flooring I have worked at so she would trust me a little. I told her that she is in good hands. From there, I assessed her pain.”

Donlon said the woman’s symptoms seemed to be an indication of a heart attack, so she started the treatment of the 57-year-old passenger the best they could.

“For a heart attack, there is a commonly used abbreviation called MONA and it stands for Morphine, Oxygen, Nitroglycerin and Aspirin. What they had available for me was a small tank of oxygen with a mask and I was pretty sure I would be able to get aspirin from someone on the plane,” said Donlon.

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Donlon said that she also tried her best to get the woman to calm down, ask her about her medical history (the woman had never had a heart attack) in the assessment of her condition.

Wow! Proud of @RWJUH nurse Courtney Donlon 4 saving a life and thankful 4 all nurses saving lives everyday #NJProud https://t.co/mXNf5racRj

— Senator Bob Menendez (@SenatorMenendez) May 24, 2017

After giving the woman an aspirin, Donlon at the height of the pilot was that she may have to do with a life-threatening situation. In a subsequent interview with WABC, Donlon told their conversation.

“I’ve seen this before,'” Donlon reminded me to tell the pilot. “‘It is a heart attack. She needs more medical attention than I can give her.’

“He says,” What shall I do?’ I said, ” Land the plane.’ He said: ‘OK.'”

The plane landed in Charleston, S. C., within 20 minutes. Donlon said she also stayed with the woman and held her hand as they were escorted on the tarmac.

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According to USA Today, JetBlue confirmed that “the customer is transported to a hospital, and the flight continued on to Newark, arriving at approximately 12:00 CEST.”

Donlon is unsure of the woman’s state, but hopes that they will reach if the situation calms down.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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