I am just settling on my couch after traveling back home from southern California, attending a Chalene Johnson’s Video Impact Academy. What an amazing weekend of connecting with high end – high caliber business people. The content that was given in the last 3 day event has my head spinning with 30 pages of notes to go over and re-read. Spending time with people like Chalene, #1 Female Infomercial, to learn how the world is involving around video. I felt like I could not soak up enough information. She taught how to use proper lighting when speaking on video, how to speak to the camera and the value of eye contact with the camera lens, identify who we are what is our brand in sound bites. Anyone who attended this event who applies what she taught will see major changes in their business.
I have a “to do list” 6 pages long to start working on first thing in the morning. For tonight, I enjoyed a good ole southern cooked meal with my three handsome men.
When I left southern California today I was tired and craving a nap on the plane ride home. Hoping I could sleep without snoring or my mouth hanging open. I made my way to the back of the plane, to seat 18A by the window. I had to smile when I saw two year old Aden sitting in the middle of the three row seating arrangement. Holding his PBJ sandwich in one hand – he smiled at me. “Can you excuse me as I walk past you to my seat?” Aden took a bite of his sandwich, looking up at me with his big blue eyes and said, “No”. I pushed my way over to my seat and ask for a bite of his sandwich and he laughed. I had a new friend. After great conversation with a 2 year old and his mother whom was 6 months pregnant she was relieved to have a short break from entertaining. Needless to say when the connecting flight stopped and we picked up new passengers I received a sticky hug from my new friend and a Hi Five.
As the plane began filling once again headed to Nashville Tennessee two women sat in my friend Aden’s seats. I laid my tired and sleep eyes against the window and had planned to sleep most of the way. An hour into the flight I heard an announcement but did not shuffle from my sleep. Being on a plane you know you want miss your stop since it is obvious when you land. However, once again the over head blared a louder request for help this time in a more pleading tone. I sat up and ask the gal next to me, “What did she say?” There is a l man up front that is not breathing. I stood up to see where he was. A large tall man was charging to the front of the plane announcing he was a paramedic. I paused, feeling relieved a first responder was on board. Someone else walked up with the man but she seemed to be an onlooker and not a helper. The airline stewardess walked by and I ask her was he ok – she said, Can you help? Are you a medical person? I don’t think he is breathing!” I calmly ask her if she had an AED (automated external defibrillator) and O2 tank on board? She said, “Yes.” I quickly instructed her to “GET IT NOW!” I have no idea what came over me – something inside jumped – flipped or turned on. I stood up in my seat and jumped over three seats landing in the isle quickly moving to the front of the plane. When I arrived next to the gentleman he was ashy colored and his head had laid over on his wife’s shoulder. The fear in her face when we connected eyes had her frozen in place. I ask what is his history? The tall man who claimed to be a paramedic ask who I was. “I am a nurse.” He said, “a cardiac nurse?” I replied, “No” and directing my attention back to the wife who told me he just had a fresh set of heart stents placed in his heart just two weeks prior to flying. He had not complained of any chest pain, or shortness of breath just began slumping over in his seat. As I was talking to her I had my fingers laid across his carotid artery and could feel a faint pulse. The stewardess arrived with the automated external defibrillator (AED). I ripped the package open to apply to the man’s chest when someone snatched the pads out of my hands. It was the person who claimed to be a paramedic. I stood there to make sure he placed them correct on the chest wall. He smashed them over his clavicle on both side. I said, “You do not have them placed correct – he barked at me “I am a paramedic I have done this a thousand times”…when I glanced down and noticed he had the blood pressure cuff upside down around his elbow. I looked up at him in my mental health nurse tone and said “We are not playing or pretending to be on mash this man’s life is in danger MOVE…I pushed my way directly beside the man sitting in the seat. I reached up to re-adjust his O2 mask and there was no O2 running. I looked at the paramedic dude and said you did not even have the tank turned on! The O2 began flowing – I told the sick passenger who I was and what I was going to be doing. Another ER nurse finally got out of her seat and ask if she could help. I am not sure I replied, but handed the tank of O2 to his wife to hold – behind me the “paramedic” was saying louder with each comment to turn the O2 on 6 or 7. I placed the pads on his upper chest wall and on the lower left side to have the machine analyze his heart rhythm. The machine was turned on – and I kneeled in the floor beside him and held his hand and explained what the machine was doing.
The O2 was beginning to bring his color back to normal – his eyes were blinking and he was able to shake his head when I ask “can I take your blood pressure” – as I checked his vital signs the AED machine showed his heart activity. I felt someone’s hand on my shoulder and the stewardess said, “The captain would like to speak to you.” The ER nurse stayed with him and I went to the phone. I felt like I was in a movie or a weird dream – “Hello this is Angela” …. “What is the passengers condition? Do we need to divert the route to a closer location and land?” I paused … this is the captain of an aircraft asking Angela Brooks do we need to divert a commercial flight to another airport. I stammered…”Sir how far are we from Nashville? ” The voice on the phone said, “One hour” I said, “Sir Nashville has some amazing hospitals for the heart – can we not get there faster than one hour?” He said, “Yes.” I said I would suggest to stay on route and move this plane. He is stable at this minute – his vitals are ok – the AED is monitoring and can shock him if needed – everything we have is in place.” He thanked me and I handed the phone to the stewardess.
As I headed back to the passenger – I heard the sound of the engines change.
I moved passed the two people now standing beside him and kneeled in the floor. He was sitting up in the seat better. I took his hand, his skin was soft, wrinkled from aging and he griped my hand. I smiled at him and said “Hello handsome how are you feeling?” He pushed the O2 mask aside so he could speak “What is your name?” I replied, patting his hand “Angela Brooks – it is nice to meet you. The captain has alerted the hospital that your coming to visit them, they are waiting at the gate. The captain said he can get us there a little faster. Will you hang on for me – he smiled. “yes – thank you for helping me”.
The captain called for everyone to prepare for landing – we were arriving 30 minutes early.
As I began leaving the plane the paramedic man stopped me. “I did not mean to raise my voice to you but I needed a cardiac nurse.” I looked at him and paused. After watching him search for a pulse behind his ear – the blood pressure cuff over his elbow and the AED placed in the wrong places I said “Sir apparently all the cardiac nurses took another flight today I could care less if you raised your voice at me. His life was in danger and you were not helping him. The next time you step in to help someone leave your credentials out of the equation and bring your skills instead.”
When I walked past the captain I thanked him for being amazing. Standing at the carousel waiting for my pink marked bag to come around the corner I heard the best sound of the day “Mommy your home!” My youngest was wrapped around my leg with my husband and oldest son standing in front of me.
Life is short – If you stay in your comfort zone great things will not happen