There was never a hero more resourceful than Angus MacGyver, who could save the world with a paperclip and a piece of string. Many of the things he did on TV were technically possible, but hardly plausible in context. But there have been many real-life situations in which people did what they could with what they had to save someone’s life. When you have no choice, you try anything. And sometimes it works. For example, when a man became sick during a flight from Philadelphia to San Francisco on Thanksgiving Day, he was lucky that Dr. Patricia Quinlan was also on the plane, along with a nurse and an EMT. Quinlan determined that the unconscious man had low blood pressure and an irregular heartbeat.
As the three medical professionals maneuvered in the narrow aisle, other passengers used smartphones to provide light as the team treated the unconscious man, who was likely suffering from dehydration. While a medical kit was onboard, no alcohol could be found to disinfect the IV needle, so Dr. Quinlan requested a flight attendant grab some whiskey from the bar cart to do so. Further improvising, Dr. Quinlan used her hair elastic as a tourniquet for the IV and, when the IV sprung a leak, patched it with tape another passenger had in her purse. By the time the plane landed, the sick man was conscious and able to walk off the flight. Dr. Quinlan emerged from the flight with a new nickname from the appreciative crew: “Doctor Angel.”