Alyssa Ledet, RN, was asleep on a plane flight home from a Colorado skiing trip when one of her family members woke her up. The flight crew on the plane was asking for anyone with medical training or experience to see about a woman who was not feeling well. The woman was complaining about chest pain and pressure, shortness of breath, nausea and pain in her jaw and between her shoulder blades.
Alyssa volunteered to help with the situation. She suspected the woman was having a heart attack, but did not want to say for sure. Alyssa approached the flight crew and, using her knowledge of chest pain protocols, encouraged them to land the plane as soon as possible, figuring the woman might not survive the rest of the flight without immediate care. Talking to and keeping the passenger calm, Alyssa made sure the woman took some aspirin and informed the flight crew of what would need to take place once on the ground.
Landing the plane abruptly meant Alyssa would miss her own connecting flight home. But, she knew that making a difference in that passenger’s life was the right thing to do.