Medical students Lauren Bagneris and Heather Duplessis were like most hard-working friends this summer. After a year of being socially-distant, being very responsible and cautious when it come to all aspects of the pandemic, the duo, along with others were in for a much-needed getaway.
Bagneris and Duplessis had been friends since undergrad at Louisiana State University and both in the MD/Master of Public Health program, so working together was nothing new. But they had no idea that on their vacation flight they’d looked forward to for so long, that they would need to jump into action and work together again on that very flight.
The ladies were making their way to Greece last week as a girl’s getaway to live it up before they had to get back to LSU’s Health and Sciences Center New Orleans for their second year of medical school. During the flight, a woman had fallen due to low blood sugar and being overheated, and both women took action when flight attendants called out for assistance over the PA system. LSU Health and Sciences Center shared the news of their heroics on the school’s Facebook page.
“Two LSU Health New Orleans medical students on a flight to Greece were sure in the right place at the right time,” the page shared. “There was a medical emergency onboard, and a call went out for medical professionals. No one responded, so Heather Duplessis and Lauren Bagneris identified themselves as medical students.”
They were able to assist the distressed passenger by doing a history assessment, finding out what she did earlier that day, supplying her with juice, food and helping to cool her down. They also took her blood pressure, checked her pulse as well as her blood sugar and reported the findings to a doctor on the ground. With their help, the distressed woman got through the episode just fine.
“We’re happy nothing went wrong on that flight,” Duplessis told the Washington Post.
After arriving in Greece on Saturday local time, the group has been island hopping and dealing with the shock as news of their experience emerges back home. Duplessis said her data already ran out after getting so many supportive messages.
This scenario played out a lot different than what a Delta employee told a Black woman doctor nearly five years ago. If you remember, back in October 2016, Dr. Tamika K. Cross, a doctor who just happens to be a Black woman, was denied the opportunity to help save a passenger’s life on Delta flight DL945 after a flight attendant refused to believe that Cross was, in fact, a real doctor.
“I’m sure many of my fellow young, corporate America working women of color can all understand my frustration when I say I’m sick of being disrespected,” Dr. Cross began a lengthy Facebook message detailing the horrific experience. Unfortunately, her experience is all too common for us.
How’s this for credentials? According to Dr. Cross’ LinkedIn profile, she is a Resident Physician – Obstetrician and Gynecologist at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth). She received her Doctor of Medicine (MD) designation from