B.C. MP Todd Doherty receives award for saving man who collapsed on a plane

Conservative MP was flying from Vancouver to Prince George, B.C., in June last year

When a man on a late-night flight collapsed and lay lifeless on the floor, it was an elected member of Parliament who saved his life.

Todd Doherty was recognized this week for his swift action.

The Conservative MP was flying from Vancouver to Prince George, B.C., in June last year when, shortly after takeoff, he heard a loud thud.

A friend who was sitting next to Doherty on the plane turned to him, wide-eyed.

“Do you know first aid?” the friend asked.

Without stopping to think, Doherty ran to the front of the plane, where a man in the front row had collapsed onto another passenger.

“I basically flew into action. It was like a reflex, I guess,” he recalled Thursday in an interview.

Finding no pulse, Doherty began giving the man chest compressions. A few minutes later, colour began to return to his cheeks and he began to breathe. It was at that moment the MP realized he knew the man he was trying to save.

“I knew his family, I knew his wife. And that’s when you really kind of start thinking about things.”

The pilot turned the plane around and they quickly headed back to Vancouver. All the while, Doherty sat and held the man’s hand, to ensure his pulse remained strong.

When they landed, the man was immediately swept onto a stretcher, bound for the hospital. Doherty, meanwhile, had to reboard his plane to Prince George.

The politician was emotional when recalling this moment.

“That was the hardest thing to do, to leave this man who I knew was really sick and I knew his family,” he said, pausing to take a hard swallow.

“I knew he was going to be alone, so it was really hard.”

The man has since made a full recovery.

On Wednesday, Doherty was awarded the St. John Ambulance life-saving award for his actions on the flight.

He downplayed the award, however, noting he only did what first responders do every day.

“The greatest reward for me was that he was actually going to be OK and that he was going to be able to be with his family.

Teresa Wright, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Indigenous festival co-creator looking to build traditonal Okanagan event

The inaugural Okanagan Indigenous Music and Arts Festival is July 6 and 7

Lake Country woman turns Beauty and the Beast into an opera

The performance will be on July 4. at 7:30 p.m.

Gas spill in Kelowna

Approximately 200 litres were spilled onto a parking lot off of McCurdy Road

Police seek two suspects and car after stabbing in Kelowna

The stabbing took place on Friday evening on Wilson Avenue. It sent one man to hospital.

10 facts about Father’s Day

Did you know that the special day for dads was first celebrated in 1910?

Thunderstorm leaves small fire in the Shuswap in its wake

Wildfire crews are also fighting a small fire near Kamloops

South Okanagan pharmacy restricted from dispensing opioid treatment drugs

B.C. College of Pharmacists alleges Sunrise Pharmacy dispensed treatment drugs against rules

Okanagan pitcher tosses second no-hitter of season

Vernon’s Jarod Leroux has two no-nos in his last three starts for the BCPBL’s Okanagan Athletics

B.C. VIEWS: When farmland protection doesn’t protect farmers

Secondary residences aren’t mansions, families tell Lana Popham

Summerland Health Care Auxiliary completes hospital donation pledge early

$1M contribution to medical equipment campaign completed half a year earlier than expected

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Summerland ready for dry summer conditions

Province has declared Level Two drought, but Summerland has not increased watering restrictions

Summerland pioneers had connection to Middlesex, England

Harry Dunsdon and Richard Turner became cattlemen

Most Read