CHICAGO (CBS) — A man died Wednesday morning on a flight heading to O’Hare International Airport from South Korea.
CBS 2’s Mike Puccinelli reports an elderly couple from Bloomingdale had spent the past four months in the Philippines, and wanted to rush home to spend Thanksgiving with their adopted daughter, and her children.
About four hours in to the 12-hour flight from Seoul, Eugenio Rodriguez began to feel sick. The 82-year-old had to be helped back to his seat, and then started having trouble breathing. His wife started screaming for help.
Several passengers tried to help, along with some members of the flight crew. They tried to revive Rodriguez by performing CPR and using a defibrillator.
“Her husband was just closing his eyes, but then I feel his pulse. It was still pulsating, you know, but clammy. So I tried to revive,” passenger Maria O’Hara said.
After 40 minutes of trying to revive Rodriguez, his heart gave out, and he passed away.
The flight arrived at O’Hare around 9 a.m., and Rodriguez’s distraught wife was placed in a wheelchair as she exited the plane.
His daughter, Marilian Solomon, said his death was especially hard to take, given when it happened.
“Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and his birthday would be on Sunday, so it’s really very painful; very difficult for us,” she said.
A spokesman for Asiana said, “In the flight, our cabin crew used defibrillators. There were 4 medical doctors at that plane and they help. The doctors and our cabin crew tried to their best to save him. And we also have training program for using defibrillators.”