I had a patient whose airplane was flying over Albuquerque where it had to Emergency land because this patient had a syncopal episode in flight. We were faced with this woman who had to get back to Atlanta, with no place to go, in the middle of the night. Thankfully Southwest had given her a supervisor’s contact information to get her on a return flight home. We provided her with a phone.
Unfortunately, that supervisor wasn’t answering and there was no place for this woman to go unless we figured something out for her. I approached Michael Sanchez with the issue and asked him if there was anything we could do for her. Michael immediately spoke to the patient and got some information. Michael informed me he was going to get care coordination on this matter. A few hours later, I asked Michael for an update. Michael had spent close to an hour on hold with Southwest Airlines customer service. Their solution to our patient’s problem was to charge her a $500 fine and get her on a flight in a day in a half. Michael escalated the issue to a supervisor. He was able to get this patient on a flight that left Albuquerque at 6:30 AM that morning at no additional charge. At this time, it was already approaching 3 AM, when Michael was scheduled to leave at 3.
Michael not only spent a very long time on the phone to fix this issue, but he stayed at least an hour after his shift because he offered to drive the patient to the airport, and he didn’t want her to be waiting at the airport for an excessive amount of time by herself. Although Michael spent tons of time on the phone to ensure this woman did not have to pay out of pocket for her flight, Michael was even trying to use his own airline miles to help offset the cost that this woman may possibly incur. Knowing that Michael lives way on the west side of town, this was more than just an act of selflessness, but it was the most compassionate act I’ve seen in a long time. It is a pleasure to work with someone who goes way out of their way to ensure someone is taken care of.
This is what an amazing nurse looks like.