Editor’s note: This story was written by a friend of Jew in the City’s who this recently happened to, but who asked to be anonymous.
We fought to get our front seats. There was a glitch in the system as our front seats were confirmed and then something happened and as much as we tried (and we tried) they couldn’t change our seats back to the front. We were forced to sit in the last three rows. All of us.
Thirty minutes into the flight, this woman in the row behind us starts becoming hysterical and screaming – she gets out of her seat to get the flight attendant. People couldn’t really hear because of the lull of the plane, but I noticed her, being the ridiculous – super aware, always-checking-for-suspect-terrorists-traveler that I am. I noticed this woman panicking and getting up from her seat behind us and rushing towards a flight attendant at the front of the plane. So I started screaming for our friend, Abe, to get up and to help this lady’s husband who was unconscious and possibly having a heart attack (and sitting behind Abe).
The flight attendant came running back down the aisle with the panic stricken wife, but I was able to assure them that the man was already being attended to by Abe, an emergency room doctor. The airline had to May Day to an emergency crew on land as Abe was performing his miraculous, God-given, medical talents to this man: inserting needles, placing the IV, and so on. They considered diverting the plane for an emergency landing.
Thank God, the man started breathing and coming around. The ground crew was communicating through the flight attendant to Abe, who adorned by his yarmulke elevated the entire Jewish nation. As Abe was furiously working on this man, his yarmulke was on full display almost like a flashing neon light – and a special point of discussion as I was talking to my neighbor, a biker, my other neighbor, a devout Catholic and another neighbor a man who first told me he was from Egypt but then switched the word to Mitzrayim. He said “Mitzrayim as you know it,” seemingly reminding me that we were all once from the same place, and somehow in this vulnerable state 35,000 feet above the ground we were all on the same team. A glimpse into the days of moschiach (the messiah) perhaps?
There we were, a diverse and colorful group of people on this plane praising Hashem and seeing Hashem’s hand in the “lucky” placement of our seating rearrangement. I asked the Irish pilot after we deplaned if he arranged with ground control to fly at a turbulence free altitude so Abe could safely put in the IV safely. His response: “I wish I could take credit, that was God’s hand.”