An off-duty EMT who performed CPR on a United Airline passenger who later died of COVID-19 has revealed that he is now showing symptoms of the deadly virus – and feels like he “got hit by a train,” according to a report.
Tony Aldapa was among the passengers who tried to revive Isaias Hernandez, 69, who collapsed on an Orlando-to-Los Angeles flight Monday, even after the man’s wife admitted he had coronavirus symptoms.
On Tuesday, Jefferson Parish Coroner Gerry Cvitanovich determined that Hernandez died of COVID-19 and acute respiratory failure.
“It was all kind of just second nature to see someone in a bad place, you try to bring them out of the bad place,” Aldapa told CBS Los Angeles.
“There were three of us that were essentially tag-teaming doing chest compressions — probably about 45 minutes,” the emergency medical technician said.
Hernandez’s wife later admitted that her husband had symptoms of the killer bug before getting on the flight and was heading home to get tested.
“She told me he had symptoms, he was short of breath and she just wanted to get him home and they planned on getting tested this week,” Aldapa told the station.
After making an emergency landing to get the man to a hospital, where he later died, the flight continued on to LA.
Aldapa is now worried he has contracted the disease.
“Essentially I just feel like I got hit by a train,” he told CBS LA. “I had a cough, my whole body still hurt, I had a headache.”
Meanwhile, TMZ has reported that United still has not notified the 179 passengers on the flight that Hernandez had COVID-19, saying it is not its responsibility.
An airline rep told the outlet that they have been in touch with the CDC and provided the agency with the flight manifest – adding that it’s up to the CDC to contact passengers who may have been exposed.
United said it was initially informed that the passenger suffered cardiac arrest, but didn’t know of his possible COVID-19 symptoms, according to the CBS LA.
“We are sharing requested information with the (CDC) so they can work with local health officials to conduct outreach to any customer the CDC believes may be at risk for possible exposure or infection,” United said in a statement.
Airline passengers are required to fill out a form in which they acknowledge they have not tested positive or experienced symptoms in the previous 14 days, but proof is not required.
Aldapa told the CBS affiliate that the CDC has not yet reached out to him.
In a statement to the station, the agency said it “is in the process of collecting information and proceeding according to our standard operating procedures to determine if further public health action is appropriate.
“To protect the privacy of the individual, we aren’t providing this information to the public,” the CDC added.