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Odessa nurse saves woman mid-flight

Kristen Patterson, a registered nurse working at Medical Center Hospital, was heading to Florida for vacation when she had to save a woman on the plane mid-flight.

MIDLAND, Texas — Kristen Patterson and her family weren't supposed to be on a late flight to Florida for vacation, but they decided that they wanted to sleep in. However, that change in flight helped save a young woman's life.

That doesn't mean that Patterson, who works at Medical Center Hospital as a nurse, or any of the other nurses on board were prepared for what happened 10 minutes after takeoff from Dallas Love Field.

"I heard someone yell 'we need a medical professional,'" Patterson said. "Is there a doctor on board? Is there a nurse, anyone? And so I jumped over the guy who was next to me because I was in the middle seat and ran to it."

Another passenger, a young woman, was having a seizure. After receiving the call, Patterson's instincts and training immediately kicked in. The five nurses on board worked to keep the woman's head protected.

"By the time I got there, there were two girls holding the young woman," Patterson said. "She was having a seizure. When I got to her she was actively seizing so we had turned her on her side, and they had her body, I had her head. We were able to get blankets. I carry blankets everywhere with me and so I shoved all my blankets underneath her head to protect her."

Not only did the woman have a seizure, but her heart also eventually stopped. That prompted CPR, and the nurses were able to get her heart going again.

Of the five nurses, only two knew each other because they were traveling together, but other than that they were all complete strangers. However, they all fell into line to save the woman's life.

"We worked so well as a team, especially because we didn’t even know each other‘s names until we got into New Orleans, so it worked really well," Patterson said. "It could’ve gone south really quick but it went so well, and I think, I really think it was a God thing the way we were positioned in the plane and how quickly and how well we worked together. It was just amazing."

All five nurses were within three rows of the woman needing medical attention according to Patterson.

Perhaps this is a new Fab Five. Either way, they all bonded together in someone's time of need.

Credit: Karen Patterson

"It was a super proud mom moment to see her spring into action," Karen Patterson, Kristen's mother, said. "Of course I’ve seen her spring into action before, but I was super proud of her, but not just her, but the whole group of them."

Once paramedics took the woman to a hospital after the plane made an emergency landing in New Orleans, the nurses celebrated saving her life with a round of shots.