Is There A Doctor On Board?

| 01.03.2012



Is there a doctor on board?


Did you ever see one of those movies where mid-flight there is a medical emergency and the captain calls, “Is there a doctor on board?”

Well, it so happens that these things don’t just happen in the movies. They can happen in real life, too.

Just ask Dr. David Burns, from Terem Beit Shemesh. On a long flight from Israel to the UK, while the plane hovered over Athens, Greece, the cabin crew called through the PA system for a doctor’s assistance.

Dr. Burns left his family seated while he went up front and introduced himself. In minutes, he was bent over a patient who was severely ill. Dr. Burns diagnosed appendicitis with signs of peritonism (fever, pale, unwell). He told the captain that this was a medical emergency and the plane needed to land as soon as possible so that the passenger could receive emergency medical treatment.

The plane landed in Athens, and the patient was duly evacuated to a medical facility. But that wasn’t the only delay. The entire flight had to remain grounded overnight due to a mechanical problem. The passengers took the situation in stride, even making a prayer quorum using a Torah scroll that had been on board. Finally, the flight resumed uneventfully to its destination.

However, life, along with the movies, is full of ironies. The very following week, Dr. Burns himself came down with an attack of appendicitis – the same condition he treated on the plane.

Terem is happy to report that Dr. Burns is fully recovered, and ready to fly again.

(published on the Jewish Tribune, 26.2.2012)