SUNDAY, MARCH 2, 2014, 12:24 AM
After passengers near Larisa Enker, 74, alerted those around them that she seemed unresponsive just after the door to the gate had closed, she was brought off the aircraft by three people: a Louisiana cardiologist named Conrad Jablonski and the two Jets trainers, Josh Koch and Dave Zuffelato.
Larisa Enker doesn’t remember boarding the plane at Newark on Monday, Feb. 17, scheduled to fly her back to Indianapolis. She doesn’t remember waking up at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center at some point afterward, either.
In the long interim that she can’t recall, Enker, 74, had a heart attack and had her life saved by her fellow passengers, including two Jets trainers, and Port Authority police officers on the ground at the airport.
After passengers near her alerted those around them that Enker seemed unresponsive just after the door to the gate had closed, she was brought off the aircraft by three people: a Louisiana cardiologist named Conrad Jablonski and the two Jets trainers, Josh Koch and Dave Zuffelato. Jablonski, who had been at the front of the plane, remembered seeing Enker slowly make her way to her seat a few minutes earlier, one of the last passengers on the aircraft.
On the jetway, the three of them performed CPR on Enker as she continued to be unresponsive, had no pulse and wasn’t breathing. Together with the Port Authority police arriving on scene, they were able to restore her pulse on the second shock from an AED. Using what Jablonski described as an “old school” oxygen tank and mask, they were able to get her breathing as well.
Enker was brought to Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, where she is still recovering from both the heart attack and broken ribs as a result of CPR. She was emotionally moved when she heard of the quick action taken by her three fellow passengers.
“(They) practically saved my life,” Enker said. “I was crying when I find out. I was very touched.”
Enker is originally from Estonia, but has lived in Indianapolis for the past 22 years. She was on her way back from Israel, where she had been on vacation, and was connecting through Newark. …
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