May 2022 Employees of the Month: Airline team members rescue traveler having cardiac arrest
The rapid response of a British Airways gate team turned out to be lifesaving for passenger Mark Berry when he went into cardiac arrest shortly before boarding his flight from Miami to London Heathrow two months ago.
The rescue effort started when Manager on Duty Annette Fernandez saw Berry in trouble and called out for any doctors nearby to assist her in administering CPR, while Customer Experience team members Petra-Simone Britton, Sadia Hammad, and Silvia O’Mahony alerted MIA paramedics and retrieved an oxygen tank from a nearby aircraft. Two off-duty doctors assisted until the paramedics arrived on the scene and a defibrillator was used to restart Berry’s heart.
Also on hand were British Airways flight captains Jonathan Burch and Charles Read, who stayed with Berry until he was taken to hospital, and Customer Service Manager Vaidas Janavicius, who kept in regular contact with Berry’s family during his recovery.
“Every doctor in the hospital said that were it not for the coordinated effort, presence of mind, and immediate and deliberate response by the British Airways ground and flight crew, I would not have survived that day,” said Berry, when he was reunited recently with the British Airways team. “After saving my life, they also went out of their way to make sure my family and I were okay and had everything we needed, keeping in regular contact with the hospital. They went above and beyond the call of duty and I will be eternally grateful. I often get asked why I always fly with British Airways, and my answer is simple - it’s the people. I will be eternally grateful.”