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She nearly died on a flight to the Cleveland Clinic. But a doctor from the Clinic saved her life midflight

SHARE She nearly died on a flight to the Cleveland Clinic. But a doctor from the Clinic saved her life midflight
People exit The Cleveland Clinic's Crile building Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2003 in Cleveland. By getting physicians involved in its philanthropy, the Cleveland Clinic foundation has more than doubled its charitable income over the last two years. Gifts from grate

People exit The Cleveland Clinic’s Crile building Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2003 in Cleveland. By getting physicians involved in its philanthropy, the Cleveland Clinic foundation has more than doubled its charitable income over the last two years. Gifts from grateful patients, corporations and other foundations this year have reached $113 million, (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

TONY DEJAK, AP

A woman flying aboard an American Airlines flight to the Cleveland Clinic had a medical emergency before she was saved, coincidentally, by a Cleveland Clinic doctor, who was also on the flight, according to WEWS-TV, an ABC News affiliate.

Ashley Spencer flew to Cleveland Sunday to seek treatment for eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis (EGPA), which is a rare autoimmune disease.

But a peanut allergy nearly killed her during the flight. She ate a bag of chips before getting on the plane, which, she said, triggered the allergic reaction, Newsweek reported.

"I stopped breathing," she said. "I still had a pulse. That's when the stewardess said, 'Is there any medical professionals on the aircraft? It's an emergency.'"

Enter Dr. Erich Kiehl, who works at the Cleveland Clinic, and another doctor from North Carolina. Both rushed to Spencer’s aid, injecting her with an EpiPen to keep her alive.

"When a person is going into anaphylactic shock it has to be taken seriously," she said. "Having Dr. Kiehl on board was so important. He was monitoring the heart completely."

The plane made an emergency landing in Pittsburgh, where Spencer was rushed to the hospital.

According to ABCNews, Spencer spent the night in the ICU. But she still planned to make her Cleveland Clinic appointment on Monday.