A mountain rescue volunteer was called into action 32,000 feet above the English Channel when a two-year-old girl fell unconscious on a flight from Spain.
The alarm was raised on board the flight from Palma, Majorca, to Manchester on Sunday morning, when the girl collapsed and was lying in the aisle. They believed she had stopped breathing and immediately a call was put out over the aeroplane’s speaker system asking if there was a doctor or nurse on board.
No one came forward and so Mark Parry, a Bolton Mountain Rescue medic from Tottington who was returning from a 10-day holiday in Puerto Pollensa, came to the aid of the toddler. Mr Parry, aged 42, said: “I was on the back row on a window seat and I heard a bit of commotion.
“I looked up and there was a girl pulling an oxygen mask down. “She said a girl had collapsed and she wasn’t breathing. “They put the call out for a doctor or nurse but nothing happened so I told them I was a mountain rescue medic.” Mr Parry, a computer programmer by day, began to assess the little girl.
He said: “My training just kicked in and I checked her airways, breathing and circulation.
“You have to stay calm because if you become emotional, you can make a mistake. “She was breathing but she was unconscious. In that situation, you should pinch the person’s ear to see if they respond but she remained unconscious. “Then her dad told me it had happened before and she had come round before.”
The drama unfolded at 11.30am, an hour before the flight was due to land in Manchester.
At one point, during the 20-minute ordeal, the pilot asked whether he should divert the plane to a nearer airport — but Mr Parry assured the crew that the girl appeared to be recovering. He added: “The parents couldn’t say thank you enough and all the flight attendants were the same.
“After it had finished, I just went and sat down and carried on reading.”
Bury Times 7:00am Thursday 29th July 2010