needed CPR on the last flight. She could tell they were shaken up. Then it hit her: She was on the return trip of the plane her mother had been on.
“That was my mother you’re talking about,” she told them.
When the plane landed, the crew requested that passengers stay in their seats to allow Registe to exit first. They wanted her to get to the hospital as soon as possible.
When Gaither woke up from an induced coma the next day, she thought she had died. Along with Registe, several other family members had flown to Salt Lake City, including her son, who lives in Ohio. Her ex-husband, the children’s father, had driven in from Las Vegas.
“I looked up and saw all these people in my life lined up against the wall,” Gaither recalls. “It was the weirdest sensation.”
“55 and Alive”
The next day, Hutchison – one of the flight attendants who helped save her life – came to see how she was doing. Registe greeted him with a big hug.
Gaither was discharged within a week, just in time for Registe to throw her a subdued but welcome “55 and Alive” birthday party.
That summer, in 2007, Gaither got serious about improving her health.
“Heart disease runs in my family, but I never gave it a lot of thought,” she says. “It’s one of those things where you don’t think it’s going to happen to you.”
Registe, who is a fitness coach, cheered her mother on as she went to cardiac rehabilitation. The two also