MONTEVIDEO – Uruguayan President Tabare Vazquez, a physician, provided medical care to another passenger on board the plane taking him to France for an official visit, assisting a teenager suffering from a severe allergic reaction, the weekly Busqueda reported.
A 17-year-old French passenger became ill Monday during the Air France flight from Buenos Aires to Paris.
The teenager ate some food not knowing it contained nuts, to which she is allergic, and fell ill, causing the in-flight staff to call for a physician.
Vazquez and his personal physician, Mario Zelarayan, assisted the young woman, Zelarayan told Busqueda.
Another passenger on the same flight confirmed to EFE that the incident occurred.
“If we hadn’t taken action right there, I don’t know what might have happened,” Zelarayan said, adding that the situation was “significantly grave” since the girl “had her throat almost occluded.”
Zelarayan and Vazquez administered an oral medication to the girl and then intravenous corticoids.
Since the passenger had a positive reaction to the treatment, the pilot decided not to make an emergency stopover in Brazil when the plane was about to start crossing the Atlantic Ocean.
The sick teen’s mother expressed her gratitude to “Mr. President” through one of his advisers, Busqueda said.
Zelarayan said this was the third time Vazquez had stepped in to provide medical care during emergencies on planes, with the first two incidents occurring during his previous administration from 2005-2010.
Vazquez met on Wednesday with French President François Hollande and will stay in Paris until Nov. 2, when he will fly to Japan, the second and last stop on his current tour.