An Accra–Amsterdam-bound KLM flight recently had to land in the Spanish city of Valencia because of a medical emergency aboard the flight.
According to a Facebook user, Benjamin Akyena Brantuo, the unidentified passenger experienced a medical situation, triggering a call by the crew for any doctors on board to volunteer their services to save the distressed passenger.
With the flight thousands of miles above the ground and not close to the departure point, that is, the Kotoka International Airport (KIA), or the final destination of the Schipol Airport in Amsterdam, he said it took the efforts of the emergency medics to stabilize the patient until an emergency stop in Valencia.
Detailing the story on his Facebook wall, Benjamin Akyena Brantuo – who was also a passenger on the same flight, said he was seated three rows away from the man.
“To the distant observer, it appeared as a scuffle between a crew and a passenger. I was under the same impression from where I sat, three rows behind the place of action.
“The backrest of the chairs had obstructed me from seeing the person who was the focus of attention of the crew and other passengers,” this was how the post titled ‘The struggle for life on KLM (KLM Royal Dutch Airlines)’,” he stated.
His narration took readers through the process when an incident that started as a violent disagreement between passengers was confirmed as a medical emergency, through to how the crew called for an expert to volunteer help and how the fight to save the victim distressed him personally.
About the arrival in Valencia, he wrote: “I witnessed with great emotion as the medical team stationed in Spain in anticipation of our arrival rushed into the aircraft. It was even most moving to see the lead volunteer doctor giving them a quick briefing to understand where they must start their intervention from.
“What was perhaps the climax of it all was when I saw the patient lift himself up for the first time and spoke to the crew, directing them to where his hand luggage was kept in the plane.
“Before the flight lifted itself into the air to continue to the final leg of the journey to Amsterdam, some of those who volunteered as doctors were led from the economy class they occupied prior to the incident to a more luxurious part of the flight.
“While that is well deserved, don’t passengers deserve aircraft fitted to handle medical emergencies as this? What if there were no passengers who were doctors on that flight?”
This is not the first time such an incident has been reported.
There have been stories about passengers dying on flights that have left Accra or are Accra-bound, with other stories like medics delivering babies on flights and flights making stops for emergency reasons also making the news.