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Jiangsu doctor Chen Shi had to call on his medical expertise to help an elderly woman with breathing difficulties during a flight from Frankfurt to Nanjing. Photo:

Honeymooning Chinese doctor runs into wrong kind of heart trouble on flight from Germany

Jiangsu medic Chen Shi draws on his professional training on way home with his new bride

A honeymoon turned into a busman’s holiday for one doctor on a flight back from Germany to China late last week.

Chen Shi, a 31-year-old resident doctor at Jiangsu Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Nanjing, sprang into action when a woman in her 70s started having breathing difficulties three hours into the 10-hour Lufthansa flight from Frankfurt to Nanjing on Thursday, news portal reported on Sunday.

Chen was heading home with his wife Li Lin, a doctor training at the same hospital, after a holiday in Europe to celebrate their marriage, the report said.

After learning the woman had rheumatic heart disease, Chen checked her pulse and blood pressure, and connected her to an oxygen tank.

“People with rheumatic heart disease have weakened cardiac function. She was probably fatigued from the trip, and the changing atmospheric pressure caused chest pain and breathlessness,” Chen was quoted as saying.

“She had no health problem other than the heart disease. Her pulse and blood pressure were all right, so I just put her on some oxygen.”

Chen also asked the woman to sit up straight, and drink a small amount of water.

The woman’s condition improved, the report said.

“[Chen] is always willing to help people,” Li was quoted as saying. “I praised him, and he even blushed. But our honeymoon became especially meaningful because of the help.”