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Doctors on a plane: Roseville medical workers revive woman midflight

Local Kaiser Permanente physicians and medical professionals saved a woman from a suspected heart attack she suffered inflight while boarded on an airplane.

ROSEVILLE, Calif — Auburn native Karen Allen suffered a major health emergency while onboard a flight to Hawaii—but thankfully there were four medical professionals on the airplane.

According to Kaiser Permanente, Allen recalled walking down the aisles of the plane toward the restroom after feeling tightness in her chest. That's when witnesses said she collapsed near an empty row.

Two Kaiser Permanente physicians from Roseville did not recognize each other initially on the flight, but both jumped into action to see what happened to Allen.

J. Brandon Winchester and Aaron Baker rushed to help, followed by local paramedic Dan Nelson and emergency department charge nurse Daryl Braga.

“I’ve never seen a more impressive team suddenly come out of the woodwork,” said Dr. Winchester. “We all agreed it sounded like a heart attack, but at the time we didn’t know for sure.”

With two hours to go until the airplane landed, the medical professionals got to work with giving Allen chest compressions and doing everything to get her into a stable condition.

Her pulse returned, she became conscious and started to breathe, and her color returned back to normal when blood pressure reached normalization.

Emergency service workers met the airplane at the runway and quickly transferred Allen to the Maui Memorial Medical Center.

She reunited at Kaiser Permanente Roseville Medical Center with the team who saved her life recently.

“I had everyone I needed right there, it was just meant to be. I can’t thank you all enough,” Allen said. “You absolutely saved my life. I’m going to make a full recovery. I think I have another good 30 years and you made it possible for me.”

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