At 35,000 Feet Above Ground, Delta Crew Members and Passengers Unite to Save One Man’s Life

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — On Oct. 1, Scott McCulloch came face-to-face with real angels aboard a Delta flight to Salt Lake City.

McCulloch was traveling to Billings, Mont. on a connecting flight to SLC – where he would meet his daughter and grandson along the way – when he recognized something was wrong.

“Something was wrong. I felt this pain go through the back of my shoulders and down my left arm and I knew what was going on,” he said in a video released by Delta Airlines.

At 35,000 feet above the ground, McCulloch found himself in the onset of a heart attack.

Shayna Huertas, Rachel Westmoreland and Bethany Butcher were the three flight attendants who rightfully earned hero status after successfully handling the situation.

Westmoreland played it calm and cool admitting, “Your workout kicks in automatically. It’s almost like muscle memory, you automatically know what to do.”

“I could see the moment of shock in her eyes, but then she got to work,” McCulloch recalled.

The women then administered aspirin and nitroglycerin while simultaneously calming the passengers.

Although terrifying nonetheless, the situation seemed to have played out in the right place, at the right time, with the right people involved. The many medical professionals on board came forward after learning the event was unfolding.

“The girl sitting in the front row, I don’t think she even got up, I think she crawled up to me and said, ‘I’m a life flight nurse,’ and I said :’It’s a very good thing,'” shared McCulloch.

After gathering all the facts and taking control of the situation, the flight attendants relayed the information to the pilots, who called air traffic control and organized paramedics and a red coat to greet McCulloch at the SLC.

Crew members and passengers came together as a team to manage the circumstances in the search for the gate.

After they arrived at SLC, McCulloch explained that he was then “in the hospital and in intensive care where they put a passage in my right main artery, they said it was 95 to 100 percent blocked.”

Reflecting on his experience, McCulloch shared: “That day was so life changing for me, so I would like to thank everyone – each and every one of you, for the way you all reacted, the way you all participated.”

McCulloch had the opportunity to track down the three flight attendants after writing an email to Delta CEO Ed Bastian asking for his help in properly thanking those who saved his life. The ride home was captured in a short film Delta shared in a Tweet.

McCulloch highlighted his newfound dedication to the airline, joking, “I’m Delta for life, that’s how I sign my emails now.”

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