Close to 2 dozen doctors help stabilize retired colonel during in-flight emergency

By Brandon Walker - Reporter

Retired Air Force Col. Tom McCay has seen the world from the cockpit of a plane, but it was on another flight, on which McCay and his wife were passengers, that changed his life and likely saved it.

"I started feeling clammy and dizzy," Col. McCay said, describing how he felt Tuesday on a flight from Atlanta to Houston.

The McCays were on a flight home from a vacation when McCay lost consciousness.

"Maggie asked me are you OK and I said no," he said, describing the seconds before losing consciousness.

"I screamed I need a doctor. I need a doctor," replied Maggie McCay. "And within seconds people were surrounding us," McCay continued.

Those people surrounding them were doctors. In fact, close to two dozen doctors were on board the flight, returning to Houston from a conference.

"One had the oxygen. The other was next to me taking my pulse and blood pressure and conferring with other doctors around," Col. McCay said.

KPRC2 met two of those doctors Thursday, UTMB's Dr. Jeffrey Aycock and Texas Children's Dr. Lenora Norowski.

They, and other doctors, worked to stabilize Colonel McCay. His heart rate had dropped and doctors needed to help him regain consciousness.

"As soon as I opened my eyes I tried to let (Maggie) know I was OK. And they continued to stabilize me and monitor my progress back,"  McCay said.

"He is my world and being up on the air and everything just goes through your mind. The worst goes through your mind at that point," Maggie McCay replied.

Doctors stabilized McCay and once the flight landed in Houston medics checked him out. While he's awaiting results from testing, overall, McCay said he feels fine.

"I just want to say thank you, thank you, thank you. It was wonderful," he said

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