Miracle on the Hudson

Click here to watch my full report.

Doreen Welsh met me in Sewickley to tell me her story about being a flight attendant on the “Miracle on the Hudson” flight.

She was working on USAirways flight 1549 heading from NYC to Charlotte  Janurary 2009 when the plane lost power and Captain Sullenberger told everyone to “brace for impact!”  She didn’t think she’d make it out alive… but Captain “Sully” had nerves of steel. He calmly landed the 150 passengers in the Hudson River. Amazing!

Doreen was hurt physically and emotionally.  On impact an angle iron came up through the floor and punctured her leg which would take a year to fully heal. Emotionally, she was not able to work on another flight although she has flown as a passenger.  After 39 years as a flight attendant, she decided to retire from the only job she’s ever known.

After telling me about her “90 seconds of sheer terror”, she told me she’s starting a new phase in her life –  she’s going to be an inspirational speaker and travel around sharing her story of that flight especially how there are times in life when you must rely on the kindness of strangers.  When she was seriously injured during the crash, she had to rely on two strangers to help her get out.  She says in addition to being grateful to Captain Sully for keeping her alive, she’s also grateful to the strangers who helped her…. saying ” those two are also my heroes. “

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