by: Alex Thorson
Posted: / Updated:
MECHANICSVILLE, Va. (WRIC) — A local nurse on vacation sprung into action to help a bleeding passenger on her airplane. Turns out, the man she helped was not such a stranger after all.
According to the man’s family, the 88-year-old passenger was in physically bad shape and traveling to Virginia to get better medical care and live with his family. The trip quickly took a turn once onboard, but thanks to the nurse’s quick thinking, all is well now.
Robin Johnson is the head nurse at Bon Secours Memorial Regional Medical Center.
Earlier this fall, Johnson was on a plane getting ready to travel back to Richmond from Tampa, Florida. Soon after she boarded, Johnson saw an elderly man who had severely cut his leg while getting moved from a wheelchair to his seat on the plane.
“He was starting to bleed, pretty rapidly bleeding,” she said. “I just told my husband and said ‘You know what I’m gonna need to get up and help.’”
Robert Kondakor, an ultrasound team leader at the hospital, and son of the injured man, was also trying to board the same plane with his family. He and Johnson had been coworkers for years.
Kondakor said after the incident happened, security wouldn’t allow passengers to continue boarding the plane and he was worried it was his dad in trouble.
“Being in the medical field for a long time you try not to get too emotional,” he told 8News. “I’m like ‘Did he have a heart attack?’ I had no idea. I figured it was something with him but I didn’t know what.”
Kondakor and Johnson said they had no idea they were both in Florida– let alone that they were on the same flight. The nurse said she thought she was just helping a stranger.
Eventually, Johnson stopped the man’s bleeding. The plane was then unloaded for cleanup, and reloaded. It was then that Kondakor realized his own colleague was the hero who sprung into action.
“She’s a great nurse, and she takes care of people and that’s what she does,” he said. “She’s not some big chief nurse that just looks down at everybody. If she has to get into the thick of everything, she’ll get into it.”
Once in Virginia, his father was admitted to Bon Secours, where Kondakor and Johnson continuously checked in on him. Johnson said she’s made a new friend for life.
“I’ve said it before, many times. God really places you where you needed to be,” she said.
Kondakor said his father was discharged after about three weeks and is doing much better today.