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2 sisters, firefighter-paramedic and nurse, treat unconscious woman on flight

Lindsay Byrne, her sibling Nicole Kelly, plus a Florida firefighter who was also onboard determined that the patient was having a diabetic emergency


Photo/Wayland Fire Department

Tréa Lavery

WAYLAND, Mass. — Two sisters from Wayland are being celebrated after they saved a woman’s life during a flight from Boston to Florida.

Lindsay Byrne, a firefighter and paramedic at Wayland Fire Department, and Nicole Kelly, a nurse at Lahey Hospital and Medical Center in Burlington, were on a Jet Blue flight from Boston to Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Meyers on Monday, Aug. 1 when the woman was found unresponsive in an airplane bathroom, according to a Facebook post by the fire department.

Flight attendants requested medical help over the plane’s intercom and Byrne and Kelly, along with a Florida firefighter who was also on the flight, went to help. The three determined that the woman was having a diabetic emergency, and was unconscious, with a faint pulse, difficulty breathing and grayish-blue skin.

“It was just an instinct to run to the front, I wasn’t nervous just didn’t know what to expect,” Kelly told Fox 25. “I guess the most stressful part of it was being on the plane and having limited resources, but thankfully it all worked out, and hopefully she’s OK today.”

They sat the woman up to help her breathe and gave her sugar packets. She eventually woke up and they stayed with her until the plane landed in Fort Meyers, where she was brought to a local hospital.

“Incidents like these are what first responders and medical professionals train for. Seeing this training and professionalism kick into action beyond our small community and in an environment with limited resources is a proud moment for the department that made a difference in someone’s life,” said Fire Chief Neil McPherson. “I commend Lindsay and Nicole for working together and utilizing both of their unique skill sets to take this swift, lifesaving action while flying aboard an aircraft.”


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