The players of Fiji Sevens rugby union team are known for their brilliant performance on the field. However, it turns out that their humanity and compassion off the field is something to be lauded as well.
The team was on board a Virgin Australia flight to Brisbane from Fiji's capital of Nadi, on Thursday, when an elderly female passenger fell ill and suffered a serious health scare. The distressed woman began falling in and out of consciousness, and as soon as the cabin crew announced the severity of her condition, the entire team rushed to help.
The airline staff was already working to provide the highest level of care available to the passenger, when Fijian team doctor Emosi Taloga and coach Ben Ryan approached to offer their assistance along with two other passengers who had medical training.
Although the Fijian team’s effort was quite remarkable, it was what they did next that amazed all the other passengers on the plane.
Apparently, the cabin crew had started lunch service when the emergency occurred, but were forced to stop in the middle. In an attempt to take some pressure off the air-hostesses, the Fiji players rose to help them serve lunch to the remaining passengers, without even being asked.
They even stayed to retrieve trays and rubbish once the meal ended.
“When the air hostesses were all flustered, the team got up to finish serving food and then assisted with the cleanup of trays for the entire plane,” recalled Ryan Fee, a passenger aboard the Virgin Australia flight. He said the actions of the Fiji players had been a “fantastic bit of team work.”
Meanwhile, one team member held an oxygen mask to the face of the ailing passenger for more than an hour.
“It shows the humble side of the Fijian people when those kind of unexpected situations occur anywhere,” explained team co-manager Paula Bio. “It's the image of the Fiji players and also our beloved Fiji.”
While the woman’s condition remains unclear, it's safe to say the team’s act of selflessness won’t be forgotten anytime soon.