Congratulating Linda Alweissby Representative Julia Brownley
Posted on 2014-01-16
in the house of representatives
Thursday, January 16, 2014
Ms. BROWNLEY of California. Mr. Speaker, today, I rise to recognize a
local hero, Linda Alweiss, from Camarillo, California.
On December 30, 2013, Linda and her family were aboard a flight from Des Moines, Iowa to Denver, Colorado, when only twenty minutes into the flight, a call for medical assistance came over the intercom. Unbeknownst to Linda, the man in distress was the pilot of their flight. As Linda and another nurse, Amy Sorensen from Wyoming, were brought to the cockpit by flight attendants to assist in the medical emergency, they realized the gravity of the situation. The pilot, who seemed to be suffering from a blood clot or heart attack, was hunched over in his seat; his face was pale, his lips were blue and both nurses could barely get a pulse. They quickly realized that their pilot could no longer fly the Boeing 737 that carried 154 passengers. With the help of Linda's husband and another passenger, they moved the pilot to the galley where they hooked up an IV and set up a diagnostic defibrillator.
Without hesitation, Linda rose to the occasion and quickly began to administer medical attention to the pilot. Although they were 30,000 feet in the air, Linda acted with poise, professionalism and valor. Her selfless actions aboard that flight saved the life of the pilot and the safety of all passengers and crew members. As the plane conducted an emergency landing in Omaha, Nebraska, Linda and Amy stayed with the pilot until he was transported and taken into emergency care.
Linda does not call herself a hero, but rather, someone who just did what she was trained to do. She is quick to give credit and attention to the other individuals who assisted; this shows her moral character and modest demeanor.
Linda's background as a nurse is extensive and proved to be the saving grace that day. Linda earned her baccalaureate of science in nursing from the University of Iowa in 1983 and worked as a registered nurse at the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics. In 1984, Linda moved from Des Moines, Iowa to Southern California where she has worked as a charge nurse at Saddleback Community Hospital and later, as a charge nurse for the pediatric intensive care unit at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center. In 1990, Linda made the decision to focus her career on being an in-house Legal Nurse Consultant. For the next twenty years, she worked for the law firm of Magana, Catchcart, & McCarthy. Today, Linda is currently employed as a home health nurse for Buena Vista Home Health Care.
Aside from her duties as a nurse, Linda is also a dedicated mother, wife and community leader. When her daughter, Sarah, attended elementary school, Linda was involved in the Parent Faculty Organization (PFO) for the Mesa Union School District, where she served as the President and Chairperson of the allocations committee for 7 years. Linda is an exemplary role model and citizen. She continues to be active in the community and provides pro-bono legal nurse consulting and actively raises funds for charities, including the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer.
For her selfless and heroic actions, I want to recognize and thank Linda Alweiss. She is a true hero in the hearts and minds of those on the flight, especially in the eyes of her family and community.