Ashley Spencer boarded an American Airlines flight Sunday hoping a doctor from the Cleveland Clinic could treat her serious illness. She just never expected it to happen midflight.
The 28-year-old had eaten a bag of chips before boarding her flight that she believes triggered an allergic reaction, she said in an interview with Cleveland ABC affiliate WEWS.
Flight attendants asked if there were any medical professionals on the flight, and Dr. Erich Kiehl stepped up. The electrophysiology fellow -- who just happens to be employed by the Cleveland Clinic -- injected Spencer with an EpiPen four times, according to WEWS. A doctor from North Carolina who was on the plane also helped, Spencer said.
"When a person is going into anaphylactic shock it has to be taken seriously," she said. "Having Dr. Kiehl on board was so important. He was monitoring the heart completely."
Spencer told WEWS her heart is already weak due to her autoimmune disease and having a doctor on board to monitor her vitals may have saved her life.
"I am beyond thankful," she said. "I could have died up there."
Spencer said she hopes to meet up with Kiehl at the Cleveland Clinic when she makes her appointment Monday.