Last updated: 10:13 AM ET, Fri January 08 2016

Pilot Makes Emergency Landing for Passenger Having a Stroke

Impacting Travel | Donald Wood | January 08, 2016

Pilot Makes Emergency Landing for Passenger Having a Stroke

Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

A heroic pilot at the helm of a flight from San Francisco to Frankfurt made the decision to emergency land in Minneapolis after one of the passengers onboard began to show signs of suffering a stroke.

According to CBS San Francisco, 83-year-old Italy native Rosanna Rizzi was on her way home last week from a Christmas visit with her daughter and grandson when she began to feel sick and started exhibiting telltale signs of a stroke.

One of the other passengers on the plane was a doctor, and he quickly sprung into action. After examining Rizzi, the doctor spoke to the pilot, resulting in the flight being cut short in order to get the elderly woman to a medical facility.

When the plane landed safely at Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport, Rizzi was rushed to Fairview Southdale Hospital in Edina, Minnesota, where she was given clot-dissolving medicine to avoid any more damage from the stroke.

Fairview neurologist Dr. Kristen Kelly-Williams told CBS San Francisco about how the quick-thinking pilot helped Rizzi, saying, “He saved her from potentially being in a wheelchair to now up walking around being her normal self.”

Rizzi—who is a former flight attendant herself—will remain in Minneapolis for a several weeks to complete her rehabilitation before flying home to Rome.


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