Incredible story of a successful in-flight surgery using fork, knife, coat hanger, and cognac

Originally published at:


Could’ve been worse. Could’ve been Hennessy.

They could stock Kelt or Pierre Ferrand, or in a pinch Rémy Martin.

Seriously though, that’s some amazing triage.


“Hi Kelly, yes, we’re at the baggage claim. Oh, the flight was ok! They had Downton Abbey, but I couldn’t get the headphones to work so I had to imagine the dialogue—oh and I had my chest catheterized for a pneumothorax”


Mm, yeah well that is dithgustin’



8/10. Would have given 10/10 but for the lack of duct tape.



Well that does seem weak. But I’m wondering… does he understand that when he’s not on the plane, flights don’t necessarily have doctors on them? Cuz having full trays of sterile surgical instruments isn’t much help if it’s a flight attendant treating you. A friend of mine is a male stewardess and the way he talks about passengers, I’m 80% sure that if one of them was seriously ill he’d just smother them with a mini airline pillow when no one was looking.


I don’t know, every flight I have ever been on has at least 1 doctor on board. :wink:
Seriously, though, docs are of a class that probably travels by air more than most, and at least on big planes, I suspect there is one more often than not. No studies to back that up, just a guess.


Your friend, who happens to be a man, is a flight attendant.




Or if one insists on using now-deprecated gendered job titles, a “steward.”


There needs to be a major change in attitudes

Yeah - like that’s gonna happen, in the current climate of end-stage capitalism.

“Courvoisier?! I’m a doctor, not a bartender!”


I prefer “Sky Butler”


Note that the event happened in 1995. Shortly afterwards (possibly as a consequence) the FAA reviewed the state of in-flight medical care, and the content of the medical kit commercial aircraft are required to carry has been considerably beefed up. According to regulations they now have to have various pieces of equipment including an automatic defibrillator, IV kit, and various drugs. Flight attendants are supposed to receive training to use the equipment in case of in-flight medical “events” (under the direction of an emergency physician on the ground), and if there’s an actual medical professional on board then so much the better.

There’s been some criticism as far as the regulation drugs list is concerned, as in some cases there are now newer or better drugs; airlines are free to provide medical kit beyond the minimum prescribed by regulation but whether they actually do is up in the air.


This was 25 years ago. What was the minimum seat pitch back then, I wonder?

I can’t get too worked up about the lack of medical supplies, when they can’t answer a serious question about evacuating the airplane.

(i.e. How far can you reduce the seat pitch before the airplane can no longer be evacuated in an emergency?)

I naively imagined that using that term in the preceding sentence would avoid this outcome but every day is a school day

1 Like - the Replacements, Waitress In the Sky - a petty, small minded example of inappropriate class resentment, but still kinda cute.

“I’m beginning to think I can cure a rainy day!”


And then the airline would charge the passenger for the pillow.

1 Like

Coming Soon. Economy Class, Business Class, First Class, First Aid Class…

“No, you can’t go past the curtain to get an Epipen from the First Aid Kit. You should have thought of that when you booked your ticket.”