Local

Two local sisters — a Wayland firefighter and a Lahey nurse — helped save a woman’s life on a JetBlue flight

"Incidents like these are what first responders and medical professionals train for."

Lindsay Byrne (left), a Wayland firefighter and paramedic, and her sister, Nicole Kelly, a nurse. JGPR

Two local sisters — one a firefighter and paramedic, the other a nurse — helped save a passenger who was found unresponsive on a flight from Boston to Fort Myers last week.

Wayland firefighter and paramedic Lindsay Byrne and her sister Nicole Kelly — a traveling nurse who also works at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center in Burlington — were on the JetBlue flight when an unconscious woman was discovered in a bathroom on the plane, a press release from the Wayland Fire Department noted.

Byrne, Kelly, and another firefighter from Florida stepped up to help after flight attendants made an announcement on the aircraft’s intercom system requesting assistance from anyone with a medical background.

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Together, the three assessed the woman, who was unconscious and struggling to breathe, and determined that she was having a diabetic emergency, the fire department said. The woman reportedly had grayish-blue skin and a faint pulse.

Byrne, Kelly, and the other firefighter moved the woman into a sitting position to help clear her airway. They also fed her sugar packets, which helped her regain consciousness, the department said.

The plane had been traveling from Boston Logan International Airport to Southwest Florida International Airport when the emergency took place.

The first responders did not leave the woman’s side until the aircraft landed in Fort Myers, at which point she was taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital.

“Incidents like these are what first responders and medical professionals train for,” Wayland Fire Chief Neil McPherson said in a statement. “Seeing this training and professionalism kick into action beyond our small community and in an environment with limited resources is a proud moment for the department that made a difference in someone’s life.

“I commend Lindsay and Nicole for working together and utilizing both of their unique skill sets to take this swift, lifesaving action while flying aboard an aircraft,” McPherson continued.

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Byrne has been working for the fire department since 2018. 

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