Mother and daughter use nursing skills to save a life in mid-flight

WLOS News 13's "Persons of the Week" were called upon to save a life and delivered with flying colors. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

Rose and Morgan Anderson came through aboard an airplane and helped save a man's life.

"I'll never get an experience like that with my mom again," Morgan said about the experience en route to Salt Lake City, Utah, where they went to visit family and see Lady Gaga.

"Oh, my gosh. If I could see her every night, I would!" Morgan said of Lady Gaga.

But before the concert, there was a matter of life or death. That incident happened about 30 minutes into the flight from Charlotte to Utah on Dec. 13.

At first, Morgan was asleep.

"My immediate thought was that the plane is crashing because I have a huge fear," Morgan said of the moment her mom woke her up.

"Is there a doctor or a nurse on board?" Rose recalled the question. "And I was like, gosh, what's wrong? So, we pushed our bell."

A passenger needed medical attention fast.

"I see him, and he's got vomit all over his shirt. He's slouched over. He's unresponsive," Morgan said. "And I looked at my mom and was like, 'Oh no, we've got to help this guy!'"

Thankfully for that man, the Andersons have plenty of training.

"And we noticed his blood pressure was extremely low," said Rose, who works at the VA and has been an ER nurse for three decades.

"She was so inspirational that I wanted to make a difference in people's lives like that," said Morgan, who followed in her mom's footsteps by becoming a nurse at Mission Hospital.

"I thought, she's got it, she will be really good at this," Morgan said of her daughter.

Clearly, they were as prepared as anyone could be for a mid-flight emergency.

"Well, we had to keep him stable for at least three and a half hours," said Morgan, who feared the patient was in danger of going into cardiac arrest.

"I got the IV going, and Morgan squeezed," Rose said. "She hand-squeezed the four liters in him as quick as we could squeeze them in because we were afraid that he had very little time."

"He got to wear my Apple Watch the whole time so we could monitor his pulse," Morgan said of the life-saving effort. "He said, 'Thank you, I feel so much better!'"

Later, the Delta captain sent them a note.

"Thanks for your help Morgan and Rose with our sick passenger," it read. "Your help was invaluable."

The Andersons said any of their co-workers could have done the same thing in that situation. They just happened to be in the right place at the right time.

"She did great," Rose said, raving about Morgan's nursing skills. "It was really, really rewarding to be able to work side by side with my daughter."

They took the trip to see relatives and Lady Gaga but got a lot more.

"Yeah, we were both, after the situation, so stressed," Morgan said. "It was like, ah, we needed a breather."

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