Medical emergency forces Cebu Pac flight to land

ON BOARD CEBU PACIFIC (MindaNews/14 Apr) – Flight 5J 995 of Cebu Pacific Air bound for General Santos City from Manila made an emergency landing at the NAIA 3 terminal after a passenger suffered high blood pressure just 30 minutes after taking off Thursday afternoon.

A member of the cabin crew who only gave her initial as MYJ, who was alerted of the medical situation, paged for a doctor on board during the tense moment.

Luckily for 72-year-old Leonida Rosqueta, a vacationing Filipino-British doctor was on the same flight.

Dr. Sukheri Sheikh said Rosqueta was “unresponsive” when she attended to her.

“She was unresponsive for like five minutes and her pulse was very weak,” said the lady doctor.

Rosqueta reportedly experienced difficulty in breathing as soon as the plane took off at around 1 p.m. and felt ill after relieving herself when the seatbelt sign was turned off.

She staggered in going back and thereafter collapsed on her seat.

Her daughter, Maribel Pascua, said her mother was under medication and took Pretor 40 before boarding the flight.

Rosqueta, who was unconscious for about five minutes while being attended to by Dr. Sheikh, was later evacuated from the plane at NAIA 3 where a medical emergency crew immediately whisked her off to the nearest hospital.

Dr. Sheikh said the timely first aid she administered on the Tacurong City resident may have saved her life.

Sheikh never left Rosqueta while at the plane, even administering a cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) for close to 10 minutes.

Flight pilot Capt. Ramos Austria made a quick decision to redirect the flight to Manila after a quick check on the patient and conferring with Dr. Sheikh.

The plane made the emergency landing at the NAIA 3 terminal at 2:35 pm.

When interviewed later, Dr. Sheikh said she is on a 10-day vacation with her mother and aunt and never imagined she will be in such a situation.

She and her mother had just arrived from London and were accompanied by her aunt, Sr. Virginia Chalon of the Sisters of St. Paul congregation.

He mother belongs to the Chalon family of Banga in South Cotabato.

The Cebu Pacific plane took off again at 3:45 p.m.

It was originally scheduled to land at the General Santos City airport at 2:15 p.m.

The flight was fully booked, with passengers worried over Rosqueta’s fate but nevertheless expressed relief after she was brought to the hospital. They never minded the delay in their flight. (Edwin G. Espejo / MindaNews)