A plane full of British passengers made a sudden emergency landing at Billund Airport, Denmark after an elderly female passenger was taken ill during the two and a half hour flight.
The aircraft, which took off from Liverpool John Lennon Airport early in the morning, was heading for Riga in Latvia.
Onboard the flight was Bradford College Web Developer, Solvita Rovite heading to Latvia to deliver an international Karate training course with a team from Saxon Karate Club. Saxon senior coach Sensei Leigh Smith and Saxon team visit Latvia regularly to deliver training - and on this occasion, the trip marked the 20th anniversary of a long and fruitful partnership with Latvia.
Solvita Rovite is the former Latvian National Karate Champion and has also recently become the National Champion for the ‘United Kingdom Traditional Karate Federation’ beating off stiff competition from almost 1,000 entries nationwide.
Elaborating further on what happened onboard the flight, Solvita said: “The lady, suffering from chest pains, became very pale and was having difficulty breathing. The flight attendants decided to give her an oxygen mask, which helped initially, but it was clear that the lady needed urgent medical attention.”
Solvita continued: “The cabin crew made an in-flight announcement asking if there were any people onboard the flight that had medical qualifications. A member of our team, Susan Bell was the only person onboard the flight that could offer assistance to the lady.”
“The lady was unable to speak English, so I stepped in to help and interpret.” Solvita Rovite is fluent in Latvian and English.
As a precautionary measure the flight was diverted and the aircraft, landed at Billund Airport, Denmark. The elderly passenger disembarked the aircraft to receive the medical attention she urgently needed.
Solvita continued: “I accompanied the passenger and continued to act as an interpreter for waiting paramedics. Eventually the flight captain made a decision that it wasn’t feasible for the elderly passenger to continue her journey. The 68 year old woman had to stay in the local hospital for further medical investigation.”
Passengers applauded the cabin crew, Solvita Rovite and the Saxon Karate Club team for their heroic attempt to assist the women and alleviate her condition.
All remaining passengers on the flight completed their journey to Latvia on the same aircraft an hour and a half later.
When asked how it felt to have helped the lady, Solvita modestly remarked: “We were really happy we could help. Everyone in our team are great people and if required to help – that’s what we do.”