It was a desperate announcement by the Singapore Airline Cabin crew that brought a handful of passengers from fore and aft of the aircraft to the main deck of the Singapore bound flight SQ222� from Sydney last Tuesday.
A passenger had fallen ill and all efforts of the cabin crew were unsuccessful in stabilizing his condition. It was their call for assistance from among the passengers which drew forth a few people�with medical knowledge. All of them were willing to help but appeared hesitant.
It was then she appeared, a small made, confident dusky young woman with short curly hair�who pushed herself past the few gathered near the ill passenger.
“I am a doctor. How can I help?” The accent was undeniably Sri Lankan.Apprised of the situation, she knelt beside the ill passenger and checked his pulse and pressure. The contents of the aircraft’s first aid kit were put to good use. After some time, confirming that the ill passenger’s condition has stabilized, with a smile and a confident pat on his shoulder, she left for her seat.
We saw her again in the coach transferring passengers between terminals at the Changi Airport.
She is a consultant medical officer at a Sydney Hospital, she said briefly, explaining her ability to take stock of the situation.The ill passenger we saw was not her only impromptu patient in the air that day. There had been another from the front of the main deck. In one instance she had had to administer an injection.
Reluctantly she said that she feared for one of them when the blood pressure had kept dropping even though he had taken his medication.
“I feared he may suffer a heart attack,” she said.
It seemed as if an expected uneventful long journey to see her mother in Colombo had started with a bang.”Anyway, it took the boredom out of the long flight,” she said with understatement.The grateful airline crew had upgraded her ticket.
Dr. Madhavi, you made us proud to be Sri Lankan that day and we are sure that your family, friends and alma mater, Devi Balika Vidyalaya, Borella would be just as proud.