Retired nurse Tamara Panzino saves baby’s life on flight from Pittsburgh to Orlando

ORLANDO, Florida — A retired nurse ran into the back of a plane and rescued a 3-month-old baby who had stopped breathing during a flight.

Tamara Panzino was already in vacation mode 35 minutes into her Spirit Airlines flight Thursday night from Pittsburgh to Orlando.

“I was reading my book, I wasn’t paying attention to it – I had my earbuds in. And I heard a flight attendant say, ‘We have a baby that’s not breathing,'” Panzino recalled.

Shortly after, an announcement came through on the AP asking if there was a doctor on board. Tamara got up and ran to the back of the plane.

“I didn’t know if the baby was choking, if the airway was open. I didn’t know what I was dealing with,” Panzino said. “I saw a baby, head was thrown back, lips blue, skin turning blue. Clearly distressed. Not breathing. And my heart just dropped.”

Although Panzino is a retired registered nurse, the years of experience have paid off. A series of questions revealed that the child was doing nothing when she stopped breathing.

“I gave the baby to daddy, I held him while I rubbed the sternum, a kind of aggressive chest jerk. Get the baby to pinch him. Try to make him cry, take a deep breath,” described Panzino.

They were heading towards the front of the plane when they noticed a change, WESH reported.

“The baby’s color has started to improve,” Panzino said. “I was so happy and just kept shaking him aggressively.”

She didn’t have to perform CPR and calls it a team effort.

“Sprit Airlines has everything we need on board and before we knew it, we knew within minutes the baby was…we were home free,” Panzino said. “The baby was going to be fine. The color came back, I heard breathing sounds, I heard a heartbeat.”

Panzino refuses to be called a hero.

“It’s not a story of heroes, it’s a community that comes together and everyone volunteers to help what their acquaintances can do. I’m glad I was there,” she said. declared.

Now, after a day of decompression, Panzino is ready for her Caribbean cruise with her husband from Port Canaveral.

Spirit Airlines released a statement thanking the crew and nurse for their quick response.

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