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Twin sisters save woman's life while on flight from Boston to Florida

WCVB Boston 8/13/2022
Wayland Firefighter and Paramedic Lindsay Byrne (left) and her sister, Nurse Nicole Kelly, of Lahey Hospital and Medical Center, helped save a woman who was having a diabetic emergency during a flight from Boston, Massachusetts, to Fort Myers, Florida, on Aug. 1, 2022. © Wayland Fire Dept. Wayland Firefighter and Paramedic Lindsay Byrne (left) and her sister, Nurse Nicole Kelly, of Lahey Hospital and Medical Center, helped save a woman who was having a diabetic emergency during a flight from Boston, Massachusetts, to Fort Myers, Florida, on Aug. 1, 2022.

Twin sisters from Massachusetts are being credited with saving a woman's life on a plane that was traveling from Boston to Florida.

Wayland Firefighter Lindsay Byrne, who is also a paramedic, and her sister, Nurse Nicole Kelly, were on a trip to visit their parents and boarded an Aug. 1 JetBlue flight that was traveling from Boston Logan International Airport to Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers.

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The sisters said there were about 45 minutes left in the flight when they heard an announcement over the plane's intercom. Flight attendants were requesting help from anyone with a medical background after a woman was found unresponsive in one of the plane's bathrooms.

That is when the 28-year-old twins, along with a firefighter from Florida, offered their help.

Byrne, Kelly and the Florida firefighter assessed the woman and found that she was unconscious. The woman had a faint pulse, was having difficulty breathing and her skin was grayish-blue in tone, which led them to determine that she was having a diabetic emergency.

"Obviously, being twins and growing up together and everything, we kind of knew what each other was looking for," Kelly said. "If I didn't see a sign right away, she could pick up on it and we kind of worked off of each other in that way. So we were able to better help her together versus one of us by ourselves."

"It wasn't a lot of having to discuss what we were doing or any, I guess, conflict. Like, I didn't have one idea and she didn't have another," Byrne said. "It was more that we were on the same page. We knew what we had to do and we were able to get it done. It wasn't like: 'Oh, she thought that it was a seizure. I thought it was a diabetic issue,' and we weren't going back and forth as far as treatment. So that was nice. It made it a whole lot easier."

The trio sat the woman up to clear her airway and fed her sugar packets, which helped her regain consciousness. They stayed with the woman until the plane landed in Fort Myers, where that woman was transported to an area hospital by ambulance.

"Incidents like these are what first responders and medical professionals train for. Seeing this training and professionalism kick into action beyond our small community and in an environment with limited resources is a proud moment for the department that made a difference in someone's life," Wayland fire Chief Neil McPherson said in a statement.

Byrne has been a member of the Wayland Fire Department since 2018 and has been a firefighter for 10 years.

Kelly works at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center in Burlington and also works as a traveling nurse.

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