#TBT: Resourceful Physician Saves Asthmatic Child During Transatlantic Flight

In a healthcare system plagued by regulatory compliance policies, penalties, cyber threats, and all-around daunting news 24/7, medical professionals oftentimes bear the ‘bad rap’ in the public eye. We pay tribute to doctors, with this throwback medical emergency story from last September; a story that has a hero and a happy ending.

Enjoy, and thank you for your continued commitment to better health outcomes.

For one couple aboard an Air Canada flight from Spain to the US, their asthmatic young son’s timely flare up exploited a comedy of errors that sheds light on the life-saving significance of thoughtful pre-flight preparation.

The toddler had come down with a cold, and about four hours into the flight, his lungs went haywire. His parents, however, had erroneously packed the child’s asthma medication in the checked baggage, rendering them useless in aiding their son - every parent's worst nightmare.

At this moment, a concerned passenger stepped in to offer some timely and skilled help in an otherwise potentially fatal instance. That Good Samaritan was none other than Dr. Khurshid Guru, director of robotic surgery at Roswell Park Cancer Institute. Dr. Guru began tending to the oxygen-starved child as best he could.

The boy's plummeting oxygen levels needed immediate action. An adult inhaler was on hand, but the dosage have been too much for the ailing toddler to use. An easy solution would have been to use a nebulizer, but since none were available, Guru crafted one from scratch, cobbling a nebulizer together with a cut-up water bottle, a drinking cup, and an oxygen mask, making it possible to provide the toddler with oxygen from a tank and medication from the inhaler.

By the time the plane landed, the boy was not only stable, he was back to normal - playing with his mom.

"I told the father then that the most important thing is that you never ever leave these medications away," he told ABC News. "I wanted to make sure that everyone realized that we need to carry these things." Said Dr. Guru