Family Claims Flight Crew Did Nothing to Save Dying Passenger - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

Family Claims Flight Crew Did Nothing to Save Dying Passenger


Judging by the pictures, 70-year-old Carol Wilson's dream trip to the Philippines was everything she imagined it would be.

"She was always willing to help people," Carol's son Shawn Carriker said. "And she did help alot of people."

But when Carol Wilson needed help, her family members said the crew on board her Emirates flight back home did nothing.

"Absolutely nothing other than give her some oxygen and sit her in a wheelchair. That's not enough," attorney Miguel Adame said.

"It just wasn't right what happened," Carol's daughter Tamala White said. "She did not deserve to die the way that she did."

Shawn was with his mother on the Emirates flight last April from Dubai to Houston. The plane was preparing to land Shawn said when a flight attendant told him to check on his mother who was in the restroom.

"She was incoherent," Shawn said. "She was gasping for air, her eyes were rolling everywhere."

According to a lawsuit filed against the airline, the crew did nothing for Carol other than give her oxygen. The lawsuit claims the flight attendants even allowed all the other passengers to disembark before paramedics could get to Carol.

"We believe Emirates didn't follow their own policies and procedures and the international flight standards in Miss Wilson's case,” attorney Kerry Guidry said.

"Basically they let my mother die on that plane," Tamala said.

Horrible is how Tamala White describes how the airline treated her at the airport after a frantic call from her brother Shawn.

"They didn't send a representative to talk to me they sent a ticket agent from one of the terminals to come and talk to me," Tamala said. "No one from the airplane came out to talk to us, the captain any of the stewardesses, no one."

Before being pronounced dead on arrival at a nearby hospital, family members said paramedics performed CPR on Carol. They question why the flight crew didn't do that or use a defibrillator.

"They should be able to assist in these emergencies in the air," Tamala said. "We're in their hands and they should be able to take care of us."

"Their reaction after the fact, didn't send flowers, didn't call to check, didn't show up at the hospital to see how she was doing, just their arrogance about the whole situation is just frustrating," Guidry said.

In court filing Emirates denies the allegations in the family's lawsuit. FOX 26 Investigates contacted the airline's attorney who declined comment other than to say the investigation into what happened is continuing.

So how often do medical emergencies happen at 30,000 feet?

There's no regulation requiring airlines to keep track. But as more people fly and baby boomers age, industry experts like Medaire say in-flight medical emergencies are on the rise.

Medaire, which has no knowledge about the facts involved in Carol Wilson's death, spoke to us on the issue of in-flight medical emergencies in general. The Arizona-based company provides immediate medical assistance to 60 airlines by giving medical advice to flight crews as they deal with medical emergencies.

Company spokesperson Jill Drake told us the FAA does require all flight attendants to be trained in CPR and automatic external defibrillators are required on all passenger planes.

"If a medical emergency arises in a domestic flight, you can divert and get to an airport pretty quickly," Guidry said.

But that's not the case with international flights. Passengers with medical conditions should contact their airline to learn what policies and procedures it follows in the event of a medical emergency. Do what you can to educate yourself and have needed medications with you.

As Medaire points out, you are boarding a plane, not a flying hospital.

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