Carrie Fisher’s family wants to thank the medics who helped her on the plane


Towards the end of 2016, my friends and I found ourselves categorizing our sadness over a celebrity’s death like “sad but not despondent” or “upper tier devastation.” For me, Carrie Fisher ended up in the latter category. I always loved her but I didn’t realize how much she meant to me until she passed – strange how we find these things out. Carrie suffered full cardiac arrest on a flight from London to LA and died four days later with her mother, Debbie Reynolds, tragically following her the next day. When Carrie went into arrest, the flight attendants asked for anyone with medical experience on board and two people, one a nurse, responded immediately. Although Carrie had no pulse for 10 minutes, they never stopped working to keep her alive and Carrie’s family believes those efforts gave them four precious days to say goodbye. Because of this, they hope to find those people and thank them.

Carrie Fisher’s family wants to thank the emergency workers who rushed to the star’s aid when she suffered a heart attack aboard a flight from London to Los Angeles on Dec. 23.

According to TMZ, when flight attendants asked the passengers if there were any medical professionals on board, two people, including a nurse, came forward to offer their services. They “worked like crazy” to keep Fisher alive.

The family says had it not been for their quick response, they would not have been able to say goodbye in the following days.

[From Page Six]

Apparently the family intends to contact United Airlines to track down the passengers. That’s a bit of class right there: setting aside their grief to recognize the efforts of those who gave them borrowed time. I imagine being allowed to say goodbye made a world of difference to the family. If the medics are reading this, thank you from all of us.

Carrie’s brother Todd Fisher announced that Carrie and Debbie will be buried together in Forest Lawn Memorial Park. The private burial will take place Friday with a public celebration happening later. Tributes have been pouring out for Carrie. Her daughter Billie Lourd (for whom who my heart just aches) posted this sweet throwback Instagram picture:

Carrie’s half sister Joely Fisher and Star Wars’ brother Mark Hamill both penned tributes as guest columnists for The Hollywood Reporter that you can read here and here.

Tributes have also be held all over for Princess Leia from New Orleans to Downtown Disney and many states in between. Malcolm Sheppard wrote a great obituary for Gen. Leia Oragna that went viral (as did the obituary Carrie wanted written for herself). Carrie was much more than Princess Leia, of course, but I can’t help but think she would have gotten a real kick out of all of this. After all, as Todd said, “Carrie loves a good party.”

for carrie #anddebbie #lightsabervigil #carriefisher #downtowndisney #maytheforcebewithyou

A photo posted by Val Taylor (@valeatscheese) on


Photo credit: WENN and Fame/Flynet Photos, Instagram and Twitter

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25 Responses to “Carrie Fisher’s family wants to thank the medics who helped her on the plane”

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  1. Alix says:

    Cannot imagine Billie Lourd’s devastation right now. Hope she takes time to heal.

    • Nicole says:

      I cannot either. Losing your mom and grandmother in two days. And their family was very close. It’s devastating.

  2. BengalCat2000 says:

    I got a Princess Leia tattoo over the holidays. I had always wanted to get one but her death finalized my decision. Her wit and wisdom will be missed especially thru the next four years.

    • MC2 says:

      Awww! I love when people loved Carrie for Carrie because she did not mince words about it- she was a wonderfully flawed, introspective, loving & authentic person.
      I’m bummed that I am about to get twitter to follow politics (that is 2017 for you) and I can’t follow Carrie. Hopefully Gary still has a twitter account & I can follow him.

  3. Ramona says:

    My heart goes out to Billy. Also, I think she was very brave to go into the same business as her mum and grandma. Those are some very big shoes to fill. I hope she gets her Singing In The Rain/Star Wars moment.

  4. Mia4S says:

    Very kind gesture on the part of the family. I’ve been on planes with a family member who is a doctor and has been called to help. Thankfully nothing this severe but it is a very difficult thing. Few resources, no backup. Those who step up deserve all our gratitude. Much love to the Fisher family.

    I went for my second viewing of Rogue One (and loved it even more). Beyond just loving the movie…no spoilers…that ending? Especially now? Wow. ❤️

    • teacakes says:

      I’m going for my fourth watch of Rogue One tonight, for the first time since news of her death broke. I’ve been a mess of mixed emotions the last three times, but yeah, it’s now my special way to say goodbye to Princess Leia – go to the theatre and see a Star Wars movie in her honour.

      (followed by her books, when I calm down)

  5. Christin says:

    That is a very thoughtful thing to do (not only publicly acknowledge, but locate them for personal thanks).

    I don’t know how professionals deal with those situations (thankful that they do and can). Having assisted with CPR for a loved one at home until medics arrived, the thought that we ‘failed’ lingers. Carrie’s family is very thoughtful to be thankful for the efforts those folks made and the extra time it provided.

  6. Esmom says:

    “Upper tier devastation.” I love it. And how awful that we have had so many celeb deaths that they have to be “prioritized.”

    And once again I’m finding it hard to believe she’s gone.

    It is incredibly thoughtful to recognize the people who helped on the plane. My friend lost her husband suddenly…had to call 911…and one of her most vivid memories of that horrific, chaotic time was how amazing the first responders were.

  7. Tig says:

    Agreed- so thoughtful to want to personally thank those folks on the plane. With their training, you know they realized the odds were long that she would recover, but continued to try.
    Just saw Rogue One for the first time shortly after she passed. No spoilers, but the audience burst into applause at the end- pretty touching.
    And leave it to NOLA to have Leia-ettes! Hope they have their own Mardi Gras parade!

    • Polyphonic Pickles says:

      Wish I could post the picture/video, but the Leijorettes led the Carrie Fisher tribute parade on Friday. They are a sub Krewe of Chewbacchus and that Mardi Gras parade will roll on 2/18.
      There’s also a beautiful Leia mural at The float den for Chewbacchus now.
      Going to see Rogue One tonight for the first time!

  8. LawBabe says:

    Pretty amazing that in this atmosphere of TMZ / In Touch “15 min of fame” interviews that I have not heard of one of these passengers giving a tell-all. Since her death, I’ve watched several of Carrie’s interviews and just continue to be impressed by her. My mom used to do a Debbie Reynold’s workout tape when I was a kid. I would do it with her sometimes and man, Debbie was so entertaining. Such a loss.

    • Matador says:

      Well, the chick and her boyfriend who Tweeted about it were rightly shamed into shutting up.

  9. serena says:

    Damn, here I go crying again..

  10. teacakes says:

    I hope Carrie’s family have the support they need during this time, and I have nothing but admiration for them, reaching out to others even in the midst of their grief.

    • holly hobby says:

      This is a testament of how Debbie and Carrie’s parenting skills. To have your kids turn out all right and be good people is a major accomplishment. I always think your kids are a reflection of you. Godspeed Fisher family.

  11. Luca76 says:

    Aww just so moved by the classy way the family is handling this.

  12. MC2 says:

    Love Carrie & love this post. I hope the force is with everyone today.

  13. Jag says:

    I will never understand why airline flights aren’t required to have someone medical on staff, or at very least have a defib machine and trained flight attendants.

    Having just watched Carrie’s HBO special “Wishful Drinking,” it makes me sad that she never got the writing accolades that she so wanted. I definitely recommend it if you haven’t seen it. Rest in peace, Carrie and Debbie.

  14. miasys says:

    Carrie was an amazing woman. Bless those first responders. I teach CPR at work & our school district requires kids to get BLS certification before they can graduate.