‘Just a happy story’: Nurse saves infant’s life when baby stopped breathing on Spirit Airlines flight

A beautiful baby girl is alive and smiling thanks to the quick-thinking action of a nurse onboard a Spirit Airlines flight bound for Orlando, and the whole thing happened right in front of a Fox News meteorologist, who reported the happy outcome on Twitter.

“On my flight back from Pittsburgh to Orlando, a baby stopped breathing three rows ahead of me,” tweeted Fox35’s Ian Cassette. “Thankfully a nurse (Tamara Panzino) was able to get the baby to breathe again.”

In the video, passengers can be heard applauding and cheering as the relieved father of three-month-old Anjele holds the grinning child up for all to see.


When you have to step forward and do what’s right, you do it,” the hero nurse said. “It was just a happy story, and it made me feel really good.”

Upon landing in Orlando, Cassette had the opportunity to speak with little Anjele’s parents off-camera.

“The parents of three month old Anjelé were terrified and had never experienced this before,” he tweeted. “They praised the positive energy of the plane and the heroic actions of Tamara for saving her.”

In a follow-up tweet, the meteorologist also gave a shout-out to the flight attendants, “for their quick action for helping as well!”

In a Fox35 report following the flight, Cassette stated, “I was in absolute shock.”

“I was sitting with my headphones in, listening to music, when I noticed everyone in front of me jump out of their seats, and I looked a few rows in front of me and saw the mom cradling her baby girl.”

“The baby’s lips were blue,” he continued, “and she wasn’t moving.”

“I was absolutely terrified,” Cassette said, “and so was everyone else on the plane.”

As the clip of Anjele smiling played, Cassette explained that he “didn’t want to record anything until I knew the three-month-old little girl was going to be okay.”

(Video: Fox35)

“The mother was pleading for help,” he recounted, “and that’s when the crew got over the loudspeaker and asked for any doctors or nurses to come and help.”

Cassette stated that it “felt like forever” as the passengers went silent, “waiting for somebody to speak up.”

After a few seconds, Panzino answered the call.

“We all just sat there and watched,” Cassette said, adding that the nurse gave Anjele oxygen and chest compressions, “and suddenly the child came back!”

“It was an absolutely incredible moment,” he said.

“Your heart falls and you spring into action,” Panzino said, adding that she thought the dad “would pass out.” She directed everyone to move to the ground to revive the child.

“When I spoke to the mom and dad at the baggage claim later,” she recalled, “they said that he had passed out when she gave childbirth, so I think I was right in getting him to the ground.”

In a statement released Thursday night, Spirit Airlines praised its crew and Panzino.

“We’re currently gathering information to learn more,” the Spirit spokesperson said. “We thank our crew and guest for the quick response. Our Flight Attendants are trained to respond to medical emergencies onboard and utilize several resources, including communicating with our designated on-call medical professionals on the ground, using onboard medical kits, and receiving assistance from credentialed medical professionals traveling on the flight.”

Melissa Fine


We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, profanity, vulgarity, doxing, or discourteous behavior. If a comment is spam, instead of replying to it please click the ∨ icon below and to the right of that comment. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain fruitful conversation.

Latest Articles