Bishopsworth teenager to receive award for Ryanair in-flight rescue
A TEENAGE air steward from Bristol saved the life of a passenger who suffered a heart attack at more than 30,000 feet.
Luke Rexworthy was working on-board the Ryanair flight between Lanzarote and Bristol when a female passenger collapsed.
The 19-year-old immediately gave the stricken woman the kiss of life and oxygen from the on-board emergency kit. A nurse on the flight joined in the rescue attempt which went on for half an hour as the plane dropped from cruising altitude to make an emergency landing.
Now Luke, who lives in Lakeshore Drive, Bishopsworth, is set to receive a top national life-saving honour from the Royal Humane Society and has already been presented with a Ryanair Excellence Award in Dublin.
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The teenager, who has worked for Ryanair for two years, told The Post: "I was doing a service in the middle of the cabin when I heard a call bell.
"A lady was sick and I attended to her. She then stopped breathing. I put her in the recovery position and alerted other crew and a nurse came to assist and we commenced resuscitation.
"I did CPR as part of my training, but this was the first time anything like this happened to me on board. "Doing it in real life is a bit different, but thankfully the training kicked in."
The aircraft was diverted to Seville and the passenger was met by emergency services and taken to hospital where she has since made a recovery.
"I was told the passenger was at home recovering, so that was really good news," he added.
"I then heard I will be receiving an award from the Royal Humane Society some time in April.
"It was quite an extreme situation and one I'll never forget, but it feels really good to be recognised. My family are all really happy too."
Luke was helped on the dramatic flight by Taunton nurse Penny Cotton.
Later this year Luke will be presented with a Royal Humane Society Resuscitation Certificate while Ms Cotton will be awarded Certificate of Commendation because nurses are not eligible for the Society's Resuscitation Certificates.
The heroic duo have won the personal praise from the Royal Humane Society's secretary, Dick Wilkinson, when he announced the awards at the Society's London headquarters.
Describing the dramatic day on October 10, Mr Wilkinson said: "The woman soon had a cardiac arrest and Ms Cotton commenced cardiac pulmonary resuscitation.
"Mr Rexworthy, a steward on the flight, gave the woman the kiss of life. They were also able to give her oxygen from equipment on board.
"Although the woman started to breathe on a number of occasions, she soon stopped again.
"The aircraft was diverted to Seville where the woman was taken to hospital.
"Ms Cotton and Mr Rexworthy carried out physically demanding resuscitation for up to 30 minutes in difficult circumstances and while the aircraft was landing.
"They proved the difference between life and death and thoroughly deserve these awards."
Ryanair's Robin Kiely said: "Ryanair cabin crew are proficient in first aid thanks to their training, however very few ever have to implement the skills they have learned.
"We are extremely proud of Luke for his outstanding actions in saving a passenger's life."