Life and Death at 35,000 Feet
What happens if you have a medical crisis on an airplane at 35,000 feet?
Part historical narrative and part memoir, SHOCKED answers this perplexing question in the true but yet-untold story of how in 1998, life-saving defibrillators, now commonplace on the ground, were placed not into the hands of medical professionals, but flight attendants.
SHOCKED also tells of the very first dramatic ‘resurrection’ of a passenger in 1998 on a flight leaving for Mexico, oddly just days after the defibrillator was placed on the plane. Mr. Robert Giggey, and his flight attendant rescuer, Shawn Lynn, were both ‘reborn’ that day. One was given new physical life, and the other, peace, direction and a renewed courage to live.
As a renowned aerospace medicine specialist and corporate medical director for the largest airline in the world, Dr. David McKenas became responsible for the health and safety of the millions of passengers who fly each year. SHOCKED tells how he interacted with a tough corporate world and government bureaucracy to pioneer the defibrillator program. An entire lifetime of seemingly unrelated unusual events, or yes, “miracles” – in his own life, and in the lives of others – ultimately led to the survival of so many people who experienced dreaded, deadly, cardiac arrest on the ground, and at the worst of all possible locations – 35,000 feet.