Norton Audubon Hospital nurse helps unconscious passenger on flight | Norton Healthcare Louisville, Ky.

Norton Audubon Hospital nurse helps unconscious passenger on flight

The plane landed in New Orleans, with medics waiting on the tarmac. Stacy Lowe, R.N., gave first responders a full account as they loaded the passenger into an ambulance, ensuring the man would receive appropriate care.

While relaxing on a flight to California in May, Stacy Low​e, R.N., an operating room nurse at Norton Audubon Hospital, was needed to save the life of a passenger who was unconscious and showing no signs of life.

Stacy calmly and quickly enlisted the help of other passengers on the San Diego-bound flight to lay the man down in the aisle. She assessed his vital signs, administered oxygen and used the onboard defibrillator.

She noticed faint movement in the passenger’s throat, indicating he was trying to swallow. While keeping his airway open, Stacy finally felt a faint pulse. As each crucial minute ticked on, his pulse got stronger, his breathing returned and he regained consciousness. He could not speak, but responded to Stacy’s questions with eye blinks. On command, he squeezed Stacy’s hand with his right hand and moved his right leg. She asked him to smile as big as he could, and he did. As she cared for the man, Stacy updated his wife on each small improvement he made, keeping the woman calm.

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A flight attendant asked Stacy if they needed to make an emergency landing. Stacy knew that if the man had a stroke, he would need blood clot-dissolving medicine as quickly as possible.

The plane landed in New Orleans, with medics waiting on the tarmac. Stacy gave first responders a full account as they loaded the passenger into an ambulance, ensuring that the local medical facility would have the information needed to provide appropriate care.

Tears still well in Stacy’s eyes when she recounts the event.

“I think about that man every day,” Stacy said. “While I was helping him, I just kept thinking that this man has a family who is waiting for him at the airport, and if I can help him get to them, I’m going to do that.”

​Norton Healthcare conferred its Good Samaritan Award to Stacy in 2019 for her dedication to serving others by rendering aid to the passenger and effectively communicating to airline staff, first responders and the passenger’s wife.

The Good Samaritan Award honors The Rev. John N. Norton, whose name Norton Healthcare carries and who became recognized as a good Samaritan because of his dedicated, selfless service to individuals in our community. This honor is given to employees who go above and beyond the call of duty by performing extraordinary acts of service for others. It represents the pinnacle of recognition for service excellence at Norton Healthcare.


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