September 15, 2022

Retired Nurse, Tamara Panzino, Saves Baby On a Plane

Retired Nurse, Tamara Panzino, Saves Baby On a Plane

Image: Fox News

Hearing the words “Is there a doctor in the house?” or “Is there a doctor onboard?” are some of the comments nurses dread hearing when they are not on the clock. This is exactly what happened to one nurse who was on vacation and traveling to Florida. Even worse, she was on an airplane that was already mid-flight. Already in vacation mode, Tamara Panzino was relaxed in her seat when she heard the call for help.  

Taking a flight with Spirit Airlines from Pittsburgh to Orlando, a heroic nurse saved a three-month-old baby after she stopped breathing mid-flight. Tamara Panzino, a nurse, was onboard the Orlando bound flight when she heard a flight attendant say there was an infant not breathing and an announcement overhead asking if there was a doctor on board.  

It was only 30 minutes into the flight when Panzino already had her earbuds in and was ready to start her vacation. A  retired nurse, with over 20 years of experience, hoped what probably all nurses hope when someone calls out for a doctor, that there is a doctor available. When she realized no doctor was answering the call, she quickly got to action and made her way to three-month-old baby girl Anjelé.  

Image: Fox News

In an interview with NBC affiliate WESH  Tamara Panzino said, “I did not know what I was dealing with. Saw an infant. The head was back. Blue lips and her skin turning blue. Clearly in distress. Not breathing. And my heart just dropped.”  

When Tamara reached the parents, who were frantic and asking for help to save their baby, she noticed Anjelé was blue around the lips and was not breathing. The passengers of the plane grew silent as they watched her save the beautiful baby’s life. 

Tamara handed the baby to the father, and she began vigorously rubbing the baby’s sternum, arms, and legs to gain a response. The nurse was doing whatever she could to make the baby cry or take a deep breath and when the baby’s color started to return, she continued to shake and rub the baby. 

Luckily the infant started to breathe again, and the father was very grateful, bouncing Anjelé up and down. Tamara Panzino stated she did not have to perform CPR and was impressed with Spirit Airlines staff for being well prepared. Once safe, the family was moved to the front of the plane and was utterly relieved that she began to hear breath sounds again.  

Ian Cassette, a meteorologist with FOX 35 News, was on the flight and posted a video on Instagram of the baby girl safe and sound with a round of applause from the passengers. He respectfully waited until he knew the baby girl was safe before recording anything. Ian Cassette wrote on the post, “So thankful there was a nurse on board to save her! @spiritairlines flight crew could not have handled this any better!” 

Ian Cassette was able to speak to the parents after, and “The baby was in good health and didn’t have any issues beforehand but was thankful somebody was there on the plane that day and worked out the way it did.” The family was impressed with the positive energy of the passengers aboard the plane and praised Tamara. 

A spokesperson from Spirit Airlines advised FOX 35 Orlando that their Flight Attendants are trained to handle medical emergencies and medical kits onboard aircraft. They are also trained to receive assistance from medical professionals during a flight. The Spirit Airlines spokesperson commented, “We extend our deepest gratitude to Tamara for coming to the aid of our Guests, and we applaud our crew for their quick response.” 

Image: Fox News

Fox 35 Orlando interviewed Tamara Panzino, where she told them, “When you have to step forward and do what’s right, you do it. It was just a happy story, and it made me feel really good.” Tamara humbly responds to being called a hero by saying, “It’s not a hero thing, it’s a community coming together and everyone volunteering to help with what their knowledge can do. I’m glad I was there.” 

The flight was able to successfully land at its destination in Orlando, where Tamara was able to begin her vacation to Cape Canaveral, Florida, through the Royal Caribbean cruise line. A full interview with the Today Show can be seen here.

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