Passenger Passes Out

January 18, 2010

in Illness/Medical Stories

When I was 18, I was flying back (on my second air flight ever!) from visiting my married sister in Nevada. Now, in my extended family, I am known as ‘the sickly one.’ Everything that can happen does to me.

On this flight, I boarded feeling cheery, excited, and well rested. I spoke to the gent sitting beside me about little things, and listened to him. I started listening more and more to him as I began to feel lightheaded and a bit sick in a non-nausea way. My chest hurt and I was having a hard time breathing. I asked him, when I was beginning to gasp, to call the airline attendant.

Bravo to the airline for having considerate attendants, a kind African American gentleman, but no working oxygen tank in the back! It was okay, they got one from the front. I remember passing out, but feeling better as soon as the plane descended far enough for an emergency landing. I asked the flight attendant to apologize to the other passengers for me. I still feel guilty about my health messing up their flight.

A very sarcastic thanks to the New Mexico hospital who assumed I had been on drugs, didn’t run a single test aside from a drug screening and turned me out ALONE with no money, knowing I hadn’t been able to contact my parents and was hundreds of miles away from home, with no answer as to why I was having chest pain, difficultly breathing, and passed out. Thank God my father heard from the only relative I’d been able to contact and came from Texas!

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Salamandra January 23, 2010 at 12:26 am

Ah????? So what? Unable to finish story? Ah?


Dr. Nick September 15, 2010 at 1:47 am



Eloise September 15, 2010 at 3:32 am

I bet the hospital didn't know they were supposed to 'give' you money when you are released!


patsytp March 20, 2016 at 1:43 am

Sounds like a classic paniic attack (in the extreme). For those who have never had one on a plane, it's the worst feeling going. And you could have flown 50+ times and never even had an inclination of one, but can get one for no apparent reason. And it is the worst. I feel for you, OP. It happened to me, and I had a pilot's licence at the time! But due to flying in on a late night flight, going home for a few hours sleep then up fpr a 5am flight, probably a combination of dehydration/ exhaustion/ low blood sugar… whatever else, caused me to have one. The only good thing was that I was supposed to be sitting next to the CEO of the company I was working for but had changed my seat to the back of the plane, knowing I would need to "snooze", so noone around me knew what was going on and especially not him. Fly with Valium now every time as true panic attacks are totally unpredictable to most people.


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