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

Federal candidates meet at riding boundary in Kelowna

They’re hoping to encourage people to vote by informing people where they’re meant to vote

Kelowna Rockets GM anxious for season’s start

Big off-season changes, the Memorial Cup; it’s all coming together for Bruce Hamilton

$13 million Kelowna cannabis facility deal terminated

GTEC Holdings did not give a reason for the purchase’s cancellation

Study paints positive financial situation for WFN

A study suggests WFN leading the way in generating financial revenue for its members

Lake Country aims to find happy-medium in Airport Inn shutdown

Airport Inn residents will have until Oct. 5. to find a new home unless an appeal is approved

‘I shouldn’t have done it,’ Trudeau says of brownface photo

Trudeau says he also wore makeup while performing a version of a Harry Belafonte song

Vernon race organizer head-butted by homeless man won’t be stopped

Man arrested after allegedly stealing race flags, assaulting woman in Kalamalka Lake park

Penticton man with multiple driving infractions loses appeal on ‘harsh’ sentence

Driver has been convicted multiple times, including for criminal negligence causing death

B.C. ‘tent city’ disputes spark call for local government autonomy

UBCM backs Maple Ridge after province overrules city

B.C. drug dealers arrested after traffic stop near Banff turns into helicopter pursuit

Antonio Nolasco-Padia, 23, and Dina Anthony, 55, both well-known to Chilliwack law enforcement

B.C. MLA calls on province to restrict vaping as first related illness appears in Canada

Todd Stone, Liberal MLA for Kamloops-South Thompson, introduced an anti-vaping bill in April

Chilliwack woman wins right to medically assisted death after three-year court battle

Julia Lamb has been the lead plaintiff in a legal battle to ease restrictions on Canada’s assisted dying laws

Most Read