Sometimes there is a doctor just when you need one, even a few thousand metres above the ground.
Sue Bolton became violently ill during a six-hour flight and now the Sydney traveller wants to thank the two Wellington doctors who helped her through the airborne ordeal.
Wellington Hospital paediatrician Tim Savage and Hutt Hospital consultant general physician Marian Falconer were sitting next to Mrs Bolton on a flight from Bali to Sydney on Sunday, chatting amiably.
However, the conversation took an unpleasant turn when Mrs Bolton returned from the toilet covered in blood and vomit.
"I kind of panicked and started violently vomiting," she said.
"It wasn't just a nightmare for me but for everyone else on board. It was pretty disgusting."
The two doctors nursed her for four hours as she repeatedly vomited and suffered recurring nosebleeds after fainting and smashing her face in the toilet.
She chipped her tooth and bruised her jaw, cheekbone and nose in the fall.
Exhausted after a series of missed flights in Indonesia, Mrs Bolton was returning to Sydney after three weeks visiting her daughter.
At one point, the doctors thought Mrs Bolton may have suffered a heart attack or contracted a virus and had to check her blood pressure, but it was unclear what was wrong.
Dr Savage even stayed with her during her medical quarantine in Sydney while Dr Falconer went on to sort out their connecting flight to Wellington.
"I will be forever grateful for their expertise and great kindness in difficult circumstances.
"I also want them to know that, apart from a bruised cheekbone, I am now fine," Mrs Bolton said.
Dr Falconer and Dr Savage declined to speak to The Dominion Post.
A Capital & Coast District Health Board spokesman said they wanted to "stay out of the spotlight".
- © Fairfax NZ News
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