After 5 hours and half of cruising up there, at last we arrived at Chennai International Airport in Madras, India. Exhausted as we may seem, we were eager to go for the lay-over and plan the night. We only have 18 hours to spare. King sized bed, ipad controlled room, bathtub moments, indian cuisine, movie marathon were alreading occupying my imagination. I was already looking forward to all of these. We were just waiting for the remaining passengers on board to deplane when suddenly it happened.
One flight attendant stationed at the back of the aircraft grabbed the interphone and called for help. She was asking for a doctor. Upon hearing this, we rushed to the back. There, a pitiful scene awaited us. Lying on the floor was an old man, unconscious, with a crying lady by his side. The crew knowing the procedures in situations like this acted fast. While one was attending to the patient, checking his pulse and breathing, the other one was preparing the oxygen, another was getting the defibrillator and first air kits. I ran to the front to follow up the request for doctor from the ground staff, but they were saying she was still on the way. I went back to the scene and found the patient in his stillest form, weak pulse, no breathing. I offered some water to the lady beside him to calm her nerves. Minutes after, the doctor and her team arrived. With all the medical equipments and paraphernalias, they immediately started their emergency procedures. One was resuscitating, one was pumping, one was preparing the syringe, one was commanding the people to move further away from the area, so it will not be overcrowded and will be able to breathe. I kept away from the scene, but still able to hear the commotions. After quite the longest 15 minutes in my life, the doctor announced the patient dead. We were all blanketed with sadness. I cannot imagine how much more for the lady beside him, which turned out to be his daughter. She was just sobbing quietly on one corner. I really felt so heavy. I really feel sad for her. We all did our best, but sadly, it was time for him to go. With heavy hearts, and teary eyes, all we can do is utter some prayers for his departed soul.
The doctor wrapped things up, and transferred the patient to the ambulance waiting outside the aircraft. We then exited the scene and proceeded to the terminal and then to the hotel.
Now, as i am lying down, at the own comforts of my hotel room, i recall the incident that transpired few hours ago. This was the first time i encountered an emergency like this. I remember the look on the daughter’s face as well as the old man’s, and i feel so despondent. I was reminded that prior to what happened, i had held the hand of the old man while guiding him to his seat, during boarding. I was asking him to walk slowly and not to rush. It was just hours ago. Little did i know, this will be the last flight of his life.
Sorrowful and mournful as my night goes by, i cant help but to think about the family he left behind. He was few minutes away from reaching the home and be reunited with his loved-ones. Few distance maybe, as they were waiting just outside the arrival area.Unfortunately, time was not on his side. Now, the baththub no longer looks appealing, my appetite lost, and all i do is stare at the muted tv. I cant help but to pray silently for Father God to bless his soul and give his family strength and more courage to face this sorrowful times.
I may not know his name, but ive met him for the briefest time possible. May his soul rest in peace.