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Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Touching Account of What Happens When Someone Dies On A Flight..


I was recently going through my Quora Feeds and i came across this post with the question, "What Happens When Someone Dies On A Flight". One of the quora users, Sue Jackman, sent in her reply and with over 900 thousand views, it is the most touching response i have ever read.

Read her response after the cut...

My husband passed away during a long haul Air NZ flight between Los Angeles and Auckland NZ. We were in business class and he went to sleep in a lie flat sleeper seat and did not wake up. 

He died of hypoxia - lack of oxygen due to chronic lung disease and a recent bout of pneumonia. When he would not wake up I got a flight steward who then went and fetched a passenger who was a Doctor. He performed the usual signs of life tests and declared him deceased approximately 4 hours prior to landing. He stayed in his sleeper seats covered with a blanket for the rest of the journey and I lay beside him and held him until we landed.

Upon landing the plane was cleared of everyone except crew myself and Keith. A hoarse of people then boarded the aircraft - police, customs, paramedics, the coroner, immigration, airline management, airport management and others I cannot remember. He was removed using the opposite side front door and a scissor lift as he had been placed in a stretcher.

Interestingly his death certificates states the time and place of death as the time he was examined and declared dead in the air and the place of death states Flight NZ5 between Los Angeles and Auckland. Due to there being a doctor on board he officially died in the air on a plane. All AirNZ aircraft carry the appropriate documentation for this.

The Airline staff were wonderful as there is a procedure for this event. I was assigned a “minder” who stayed with me for the rest of the flight. She came with me to the police station after we landed. I had a connecting flight to another city in NZ which she rebooked for me and she even offered to come with me to my home to make sure I was OK. I cannot thank them enough.

It was traumatic, but I had 4 hours of time with him to say goodbye which I would not have had on land. It was also comforting to know that there were others with me even though they were strangers because they did not intrude but were very supportive.