The middle-aged woman was drifting in and out of consciousness and had slumped over in her seat, causing pandemonium on board the flight as other passengers worried for the woman’s health.
Paul Smith, a passenger aboard the plane, told DublinLive: "They quickly swapped front and rear cabin crew; I’m guessing to bring a fluent Italian speaker closer. When she arrived the male lead steward calmly said to his young female colleague several times: 'Take control and own the situation'.
"By this stage they had the ill woman stretched out across three seats, she appeared to be drifting in and out of consciousness, suggesting that she hadn’t eaten."
He added: "Many anxious passengers were standing up in the aisle trying to assist her, or simply to see what was happening. A nurse from the rear of the plane made himself available. It appeared the situation stabilised and things returned back to normal, everyone went back to their seats apart from a cabin crew member and a gentleman that was sitting next to her."
“It became quite disorganised and unruly at times, many of the now very worried Italian-speaking passengers trying to offer their own medical advice. The cabin crew had to be quite vocal and strong towards some, they repeated 'please take your seats, the seatbelt sign is on'.
"The cabin crew made an announcement asking for the nurse or any medical professionals to make themselves available, the male nurse returned as well as a female nurse. They decided to move the lady into a seat closer to the bathroom and to give her more room and a faster exit off the plane.
"The flight crew tried to keep things as normal as possible. The seatbelt sign stayed on for the duration of the flight from that point on, but, shockingly, many passengers couldn’t obey this. It was like a kindergarten, the flight crew had to ask passengers to turn back and go back to their seats many times.
"During the flight we weren’t sure if the plane was continuing towards Dublin or being diverted, until the captain announced: 'We’re making our approach into Dublin, as we have a medical emergency on board an ambulance will meet us on the stand, so please remain in your seats until the ambulance crew deal with the sick passenger'."
After the plane had landed, ambulance paramedics were at the scene and rushed aboard to help the woman, who was subsequently brought to hospital.
Smith concluded: "Top marks to the Ryanair cabin crew, a few of which couldn’t have been more than 25. It was a tense situation, which they controlled extremely well."
A Ryanair spokeswoman told Dublin Live: “Crew requested medical assistance ahead of landing on this Palermo to Dublin flight (26 Jan) as a passenger became unwell mid-flight. The aircraft landed normally and the passenger was met by medical personnel on arrival.”
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