One hour into a San Francisco-to-Newark flight, the captain calmly asks, “Is there a doctor or nurse on board?” Necks crane. Curious chatter ensues. Then silence falls. Minutes later the captain repeats his question. This is serious.
A man, half asleep during the first announcement, moves quickly to the back. The curtains are drawn in the rear cabin. A flight attendant—white as a ghost—stands guard. Malik Cobb, PA-C, Lockwood Scientific Director, introduces himself. “I’m a physician assistant. I worked in a liver transplantation unit for 12 years. Maybe I can help….”
The flight attendant pulls him in. A man—mid-40s, thin, pale, sweating—is hunched over in the jump seat. Chest pain. Shortness of breath. Anxiety. He suffered a heart attack a few months prior and has three coronary stents. He’s an attorney en route to a deposition. There's lots to lose with his case if he doesn’t make it to Newark, but he could lose much more than that.
Malik goes into clinical mode. Aspirin? Check. Medical kit? Check. Oxygen? Check. Defibrillator? Check. He monitors blood pressure, pulse, breathing. The man has nitroglycerin tablets. “Take one,” Malik tells him. The captain calls. Should we land in Denver? “No,” the attorney says. He's got to get to Newark for this important deposition. But he’s not thinking clearly. “I’m not leaving your side,” Malik assures him.
An hour goes by. Chest pains subside. But the man has a terrible headache. “It’s probably the nitro,” Malik informs him. The captain calls. “Should we land in Chicago?” Malik says no. He spent years at University Hospital in Newark. He knows the EMS guys there. The captain talks to doctors on the ground. Everyone follows Malik’s lead.
Two more hours. The plane touches down in Newark. Malik hands the attorney over to EMS. He may not make it to the deposition, but he’ll make it to the hospital.
We don’t know the ending. The man never reached out to thank Malik for saving his life. But that’s not why Malik acted. He was just being himself.
That’s how it is when you work with Malik, or anyone at The Lockwood Group. You’ll get the same expertise, professionalism, and heroic attention to detail.