Pakistani doctor saves Chinese woman's life on flight

Muhammad Shahbaz (second from right) poses with the crew members during a flight from Beijing to Paris on July 2, 2017.
PHOTO: China Daily/ Asia News Network

A PhD student studying at the Shangdong University School of Medicine saved the life of a Chinese passenger on a flight from Beijing to Paris on July 2.

Muhammad Shahbaz was resting with his eyes closed when he heard a crew member requesting the assistance of a medical professional.

Muhammad got up and went to a stewardess who took him to a Chinese woman who was shivering and in distress.

"I went over to a flight attendant, and as soon as I identified myself and showed my ID to Demon Virginie, the chief of staff, they told me about the woman's condition and requested me to help the woman in distress," he said.

"I told her I was a doctor. As I can speak Chinese, she trusted me a little bit, and I told her she was in good hands."

Muhammad said the woman was suffering from severe vomiting, stress and hypothermia, which was challenging as the resources aboard the plane were limited.

"I placed an oxygen mask on the woman to help her breathe and covered her with blankets," he said.

"I then monitored her temperature, blood pressure and pulse regularly."

While Muhammad attended to the woman, arrangements were made on the ground for an emergency landing in case complications arose - an ambulance and medical staff were in contact throughout the duration of the flight.

Muhammad said the woman began feeling better within three hours and was in a good state by the last two hours of the flight. Medical staff further examined the woman when the plane landed.

In order to thank Muhammad for his efforts, the cabin crew gave him a round of applause and the chief of staff awarded Muhammad 10,000 Air France mileage points.

"It was best day of my life," Muhammad said.

"I am used to seeing this in movies but it happened in real life, and being the only doctor on the flight, I felt proud of my profession for being able to save a person's life.

"The experience helped me realise being a doctor is a noble profession, and it is beyond the borders of race, colour and religion.

"It is the best profession on planet earth, and I am proud to be a doctor and proud to be Pakistani."

The woman, 26, who identified herself as Li Xuan the following day, thanked Dr Muhammad for his efforts after she made a full recovery.

"There is a Chinese saying that 'saving a life is better than building a seven-story pagoda'. Thank you Dr Muhammad for helping me while I was in distress," she said.

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