It was 2.30 in the morning, maybe even closer to 3. All was quiet in the flight deck, just the odd ripple of turbulence occasionally bumping the aircraft. Peering 38,000ft down below us, the moonless sky gave little away of northern Canada. A black abyss of nothing; no roads, no towns, no people. We were truly in the middle of nowhere.
We’d been hoping for the Northern Lights to keep us entertained as we sped through the darkness, but they never seem to play ball when you want them to. Flying through the night from the west coast of the USA can feel like a long slog. Nothing to see, few people to talk to and, normally, very little to do. Until the phone rang.
“Captain, a passenger has collapsed and is unresponsive,” the cabin crew member informed us. “We’ve got them on oxygen and have just made an announcement for a health care professional.”
A phone call like that gets your attention. Getting ill is never a good thing but doing so seven miles above the snowy wilderness of the Arctic Circle is less than ideal.
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