Sanchez: SOS on air

IF THERE’S something weird…And it doesn’t look good. Who you gonna call? goes the lyrics of the 1984 American supernatural comedy movie.

That’s the movie. How about in real life? Up in the air? Who are you going to call when a passenger is gasping for breath and starting to discolor?

I was returning to Bacolod on January 18, 2018 after a brief reunion with my sibs. I took the 7:55 p.m. ho-hum flight of the Philippine Airlines Flight 2137.

And then suddenly an announcement blared for medical professionals to assist an unnamed passenger. Flight rules insist a patient cannot be identified.

But not so in the case of medical angels. Jennifer Gutierrez and Paul Tanalgo may be one of those ordinary people we might meet downtown and not recognize them.

But up in the air, they turned out to be in the right place at the right time. They were my co-passengers.

Both treated the passenger with a kidney failure because of the high altitude, said Ms. Gutierrez. She stayed with the patient.

It turned out that Ms. Gutierrez is a Filipina nurse, working for the Armed Forces of Oman for 20 years. She hails from Barangay Mandalagan in Bacolod City. Her home whenever she goes to the Philippines for a vacation.

Mr. Tanaldo, the other nurse, is a Filipino-Australian balikbayan who assisted the patient.

When we landed at the Silay airport, Gutierrez humbly brushed aside the accolade as a hero. “All in a day’s work.”

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