Image: Five of the six nurses on the cruise in the Caribbean Source: Fox 9 news
Six Minnesota nurses are being hailed as heroes after saving a woman’s life on a cruise ship. The rescue was made possible by the quick thinking of nurses; Jenni, Sandy, Jane, Cindy, Johannes, Joni, and Ann. The nurses were on the week-long cruise to the Caribbean to celebrate Ann Montanez’s 50th birthday.
Collectively, the nurses have 150 years of nursing experience and currently are employed in the emergency room at Park Nicollet Methodist Hospital in St. Louis Park, Minnesota.
A fellow passenger in distress
During the second day of the cruise, Ann noticed a distressed woman in the dining room “At this point, I was like, ‘Oh, this is really happening on this cruise,’ and I kind of motioned for my friend to turn around and said, ‘I think this person is starting to choke,’” recalled Ann.
The person in distress was an elderly woman from Georgia who was on vacation with her husband. Jenni Lange recounted, “Her lips were blue. She was very gray. She was not responding at all. I mean, there were quite a few moments where I thought, please let her make it.”
A waiter from the cruise ship was attempting to perform the abdominal thrust maneuver on the choking woman but was not applying enough pressure.
As if working in perfect unison, Ann praised her colleagues, “They all took their roles, and I had no doubt that she was going to be in great hands. You have to trust your friends, and you have to trust your fellow coworkers and know, like, that this is what they’re trained to do.”
Sandy Orinstien, demonstrating her expertise as a nurse, recounted, “So we got her on her side, and I took the heel of my hand, and I wailed on this poor little lady,”
“Then, Sandy gave her one more good blow. And then all of a sudden, she was moving a little bit, and then I was able to get the food out, and then she took a bunch of deep breaths, and it was all good,” Cindy Johannes added.
The entire dining room erupted into applause, and shortly after, the ship’s medical team, including the doctor, arrived. Sandy recalled her conversation with the doctor, “The doctor, he’s like, ‘What happened?’ (We) showed him the piece of meat, and he looked at the lady, and he goes, ‘these ladies just saved your life,’”
(Five of the six nurses posing with the passenger they saved on the cruise Source: Fox 9 news)
The group of nurses felt that fate brought them on that particular cruise and enabled them to assist the woman in distress. They spotted the woman again two days later, accompanied by her husband, who offered to treat them to lobster. However, they declined the offer and instead asked to take a group photo with the couple.
Sandy elaborates on the dynamic of working with a team, stating, “Whether you’re in a situation in the ER or not, everybody knows their strength. And they go for that. It’s just an unspoken thing. It’s not like someone’s giving assignments. Everybody just goes to their place and does their thing.”
These six brave nurses have shown that even in times of crisis, there are still people willing to go above and beyond to save lives. Their selfless act is a testament to what can be achieved when working together as a team. The nurses emphasized the importance of being equipped with basic first-aid knowledge that could help save someone’s life.