Doctor flies to the rescue in holiday jet emergency

Dr Tom Ashley-Norman and his wife Simone who were returning from their honeymoon when a passenger was taken seriously ill
Dr Tom Ashley-Norman and his wife Simone who were returning from their honeymoon when a passenger was taken seriously ill
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A DOCTOR flying back from his honeymoon leapt into action when a woman sitting near him began fitting at 35,000 feet.

Dr Tom Ashley-Norman, a GP at the Hereward Group Practice in Exeter Street, Bourne, was forced to tell the pilot to land the plane he was flying back on from Montenegro with his new wife Simone, when a 20-year-old British woman had a fit

Dr Ashley-Norman, 33, was alerted to the woman in distress, sitting diagonally across the aisle from him, by his wife and jumped to her aid.

The former Stamford School pupil held the woman still as she continued to unconsciously fit and vomit. After about half an hour of keeping her airways open, and with no sign of the young woman’s condition improving, Dr Ashley-Norman called for the pilot.

Dr Ashley-Norman said: “It was a bit of a James Bond moment. I told the air stewardess to get the pilot. When he arrived I said, ‘You are going to have to get this plane on the ground straight away.’”

Simone, a communication manager for the Woodland Trust said: “It was the fastest descent you have ever know.”

While Dr Ashley-Norman crouched in the aisle still holding the woman in place the pilot landed the plane destined for Gatwick, at an airport in Croatia, where an ambulance was waiting on the runway.

After seeing the woman into it Dr Ashley-Norman and a critical care nurse, who was also on the plane, joined the rest of the passengers in flying back to England.

The condition of the woman is unknown.

Once the plane got back into the air the captain invited Dr Ashley-Norman up to the cockpit as a thank you for his quick thinking actions.

He said: “It was a funny ending to the holiday. When I went to bed that night I was like ‘Did that actually happen?’”

Simone, a former pupil at Bourne Grammar School said: “We were only thinking what are we going to tell people about the holiday when we get back, because we had just been lazing around relaxing, and now we have got this.”

Tom and Simone were married on August 4 at Normanton Church Museum on the south shore of Rutland Water.