Prepare For Emergency Landings In Life


Four o’clock in the morning and I’m driving to the airport to catch a flight to the East Coast. Like every other parent and grandparent, I was thrilled to be on my way to see my daughter and her family. Fortunately, I’m one of those travelers who can easily fall asleep on a plane. This trip was no different… I settled into my aisle seat, the pilot revved up the engines and before long I was sleeping.  

My nap was interrupted when I sensed someone standing near me and heard a woman’s voice, “You must move to another seat.”  At that, my eyes flew open, thinking I was the one who needed to move. A flight attendant now stood in my small legroom space, while two men moved out of their seats directly in front of me.  A middle-aged man next to the window remained and another attendant immediately sat down next to him. The soft spoken gentleman leaned against his window and complained of chest pains, shortness of breath, and pain traveling down his arm.

The flight crew went into action as the pilot made a request over the intercom, “If there is a doctor on board, please ring your call button.” Within minutes, two doctors arrived to assist the stricken man while flight attendants delivered an oxygen tank and additional medical supplies blocking the already cramped aisle way.  

Kindness, thoughtfulness and trust prevailed as the doctors and team of flight attendants attended to their patient. After a short discussion the doctors decided it was necessary to have the man hospitalized for further evaluation.

Within minutes, the pilot announced we were making an emergency landing in Wichita, Kansas! The stricken man said he was traveling alone to visit his elderly mother in Florida. I was also traveling alone—a trip I make constantly by myself to visit my family. Sirens greeted us on the runway in Wichita as paramedics boarded the plane and wheeled the man off the plane. Hopefully, he recovered.  

The experience left me thinking of how many times I travel alone. What if I was the one left in another state and in the care of strangers? How would I feel? Who would be there to take care of me?

Are any of us prepared for an emergency such as this, even though life gives us so many bumps and changes? How can we prepare for such an unexpected landing?

Expect the unexpected

We all think: “it’s not going to happen to me.”  Right? I know I certainly don’t feel my age, but yet I’ve experienced so many of the unforeseen life events. Life is full of surprises. There are things you just can’t prevent from happening, however you can’t run away or hide from it. Try to embrace life and learn from your unplanned experiences.

Prepare with ICE – In Case of Emergency

Many of us have been instructed to look for medical emergency information if someone needs help. What if it’s you? Do you have your contact information readily available? Today’s technology and the numerous apps for smartphones make it easy to input and access. Take the time to enter emergency contact phone numbers, allergies, blood type, medical conditions and prescriptions.  

How to Add an Emergency Contact to Your Phone’s Lock Screen,2817,2489237,00.asp

Trust in mankind

Today, more than ever we need to remember that kindness and compassion still exists in our world. So often the news features an isolated, not-so-kind situation, but what about the numerous, untold acts of charity to another human being? I had witnessed an entire flight crew, two doctors and a completely filled cabin of travelers who had cooperated during this emergency. No one complained about a missed connection or late arrival. Why?  Because we cared about another human being who needed others.


About Author

When Debbie Ceresa was ten years old, she won a school contest but never told her family. The night of the book fair, her parents found out that she had designed the carousel and theme for the fair. Her mother loved to remind her of this story, she was so proud. She took her never-ending ideas for granted. A love for books and education never left her. Years later, at the age of 36, Debbie went back to school and graduated with upper division honors from Northern Illinois University. She also worked as an admissions director at a private academy, where she revitalized the school’s image and implemented a wide range of educational programs. One of the most important personal accomplishments in her life was completing her memoir, A Beautiful View. The story turned into a two-year project that took Debbie on a learning experience with many accomplished writers throughout the country. Following her heart and her hunches, Debbie Ceresa moved from Illinois to Arizona, where she has a beautiful mountain view and the occasional coyote sighting.

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