"On that flight the scariest moment of my life unfolded before my eyes," Janay Flowers said of the medical emergency

By Jason Duaine Hahn
May 01, 2019 04:45 PM
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Credit: Courtesy Janay Flowers

A Texas mother is thanking a flight crew and passengers for helping to save her 11-month-old daughter when she experienced a mid-flight seizure last week.

In an Instagram post, mom Janay Flowers said her daughter, Nevaeh, suddenly experienced a febrile seizure during their American Airlines flight from Tampa to Dallas on April 25. A febrile seizure is typically triggered by fever and causes a child to lose consciousness while their arms and legs shake uncontrollably, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

With nearly 10 minutes left until the plane was to touch down in Dallas, American Airlines crew and passengers rushed to mitigate Nevaeh’s temperature as she struggled to breathe.

“I was traveling alone with Nevaeh and did not have a clue what to do but cry out for help,” Flowers wrote in her Instagram post. “Two people immediately came to aid my baby and found that she was burning up. They took her onesie off and she was running a serious fever, her toes were blue, and she could barely [breathe]. They called out for any doctors on the plane and about 3-4 additional people came running to help also.”

The group of strangers worked together, gathering life-saving equipment and making calls to ensure emergency personnel were ready to jump in as soon as the plane arrived at Dallas Fort Worth Airport.

“All of these people worked diligently to cool my baby down while she was having a seizure. One man went to the front of the plane to ensure that the EMS was at the gate as soon as we landed,” Flowers said in her post. “Another man got an oxygen tank and administered it to Nevaeh. Another man was taking her pulse. As soon as our plane landed, we all rushed to the front of the plane while they grabbed all of my belongings.”

As one man carried Nevaeh, another man thumped her foot repeatedly to make her cry. While the men carried her baby off the plane and into the hands of the EMS crew, Flowers sang a calming tune to Nevaeh.

“I sang you are my sunshine and prayed like I never prayed before,” she said. “It seemed to last forever.”

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Baby Nevaeh was taken to the emergency room at Baylor Medical Center, where she eventually recovered.

“[She] is doing well now, but on that flight the scariest moment of my life unfolded before my eyes,” Flowers recalled on Instagram. “My family and I are beyond grateful for all of the care and treatment given to our baby. I am so thankful to God that He put the right people in the right place at the right time! God kept us and worked through those angels who cared for Nevaeh.”

In a statement, American Airlines thanked its team members and passengers for coming to the infant’s aid.

“We are grateful that Nevaeh is doing better and wish her and her family the best,” the company spokesperson said in a statement to PEOPLE. “This medical emergency last week highlights the tremendous care and professionalism of American’s team members, and specifically, in this situation, our flight attendants and DFW team.”

They added: “We are proud of our colleagues and are grateful to them and our customers, who also stepped up to help a family in need, for their quick actions.”

In a video on Tuesday, Flowers said Nevaeh is a “happy baby” and doing well, and the family was also able to reconnect with one of the people, a nurse, who stepped in to help during the flight. They are now planning to reunite at Nevaeh’s first birthday.

“Words cannot describe how thankful we are,” Flowers said. “They saved our baby’s life.”