Mom speaks out after her 14-year-old son dies mid-flight on American Airlines plane

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By James Kay

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A heartbroken mother has spoken out following her 14-year-old son tragically passing away on an American Airlines flight.

As previously reported, Kevin Greenidge was traveling from San Pedro Sula, Honduras, to Miami last June when he experienced a medical emergency, according to a lawsuit filed by his mother, Melissa Arzu, in federal court.

During the flight, a medic attempted to use a defibrillator on the teenager who suffered cardiac arrest.

However, the life-saving device was allegedly not charged, as reported by The Independent.


Since 2004, all U.S. airlines have been required to carry functioning defibrillators on their planes, according to Simple Flying.

These devices are part of an aircraft's minimum equipment list (MEL) and must be operational before each flight.

American Airlines was the first U.S. commercial airline to equip its planes with defibrillators and train its attendants to use them in 1997.

Arzu’s attorney, Thomas Giuffra, stated that the flight made an emergency landing in Cancun, Mexico, where doctors attempted to save the boy.

Tragically, he was pronounced dead shortly after.

The incident happened on an American Airlines flight. Credit: Drew Angerer/Getty

Greenidge, who had asthma and type 2 diabetes, was found to have died from a myocardial infarction, or heart attack.

The lawsuit, which was refiled on May 13 after American Airlines sought to transfer the case to the state where it is headquartered, is seeking approximately $150,000 in compensation.

The legal document claims that the flight crew was slow to respond after Greenidge's family called for help and that they were unable to operate the defibrillator properly.

Additionally, the lawsuit states that because the defibrillator did not deliver the necessary shock to save Greenidge's life, the crew repeatedly advised continuing CPR.

“After Kevin died, I never heard from American Airlines,” Arzu said in a statement. “It made me feel hopeless. I want answers from American Airlines. I want American Airlines to take full responsibility for Kevin’s death. I never want this to happen to a child or family again.”

Arzu’s attorney, Hannah Crowe, told The New York Post that multiple eyewitnesses confirmed the AED machine used to try to resuscitate Kevin appeared not to work.

The lawsuit claims the flight crew was slow to respond and could not operate the defibrillator. Credit: Keith Brofsky / Getty

“After Kevin died, the equipment went missing,” Crowe said. “Did someone at American intentionally destroy it? Is it defective? Put back out in service? These are all really serious violations of the federal laws that are in place to protect passengers,” she added.

American Airlines has extended condolences to Greenidge's family in a statement: “Our thoughts are with Mr. Greenidge’s loved ones. We are going to decline further comment given this matter involves pending litigation."

Featured image credit: Drew Angerer/Getty

Mom speaks out after her 14-year-old son dies mid-flight on American Airlines plane

vt-author-image

By James Kay

Article saved!Article saved!

A heartbroken mother has spoken out following her 14-year-old son tragically passing away on an American Airlines flight.

As previously reported, Kevin Greenidge was traveling from San Pedro Sula, Honduras, to Miami last June when he experienced a medical emergency, according to a lawsuit filed by his mother, Melissa Arzu, in federal court.

During the flight, a medic attempted to use a defibrillator on the teenager who suffered cardiac arrest.

However, the life-saving device was allegedly not charged, as reported by The Independent.


Since 2004, all U.S. airlines have been required to carry functioning defibrillators on their planes, according to Simple Flying.

These devices are part of an aircraft's minimum equipment list (MEL) and must be operational before each flight.

American Airlines was the first U.S. commercial airline to equip its planes with defibrillators and train its attendants to use them in 1997.

Arzu’s attorney, Thomas Giuffra, stated that the flight made an emergency landing in Cancun, Mexico, where doctors attempted to save the boy.

Tragically, he was pronounced dead shortly after.

The incident happened on an American Airlines flight. Credit: Drew Angerer/Getty

Greenidge, who had asthma and type 2 diabetes, was found to have died from a myocardial infarction, or heart attack.

The lawsuit, which was refiled on May 13 after American Airlines sought to transfer the case to the state where it is headquartered, is seeking approximately $150,000 in compensation.

The legal document claims that the flight crew was slow to respond after Greenidge's family called for help and that they were unable to operate the defibrillator properly.

Additionally, the lawsuit states that because the defibrillator did not deliver the necessary shock to save Greenidge's life, the crew repeatedly advised continuing CPR.

“After Kevin died, I never heard from American Airlines,” Arzu said in a statement. “It made me feel hopeless. I want answers from American Airlines. I want American Airlines to take full responsibility for Kevin’s death. I never want this to happen to a child or family again.”

Arzu’s attorney, Hannah Crowe, told The New York Post that multiple eyewitnesses confirmed the AED machine used to try to resuscitate Kevin appeared not to work.

The lawsuit claims the flight crew was slow to respond and could not operate the defibrillator. Credit: Keith Brofsky / Getty

“After Kevin died, the equipment went missing,” Crowe said. “Did someone at American intentionally destroy it? Is it defective? Put back out in service? These are all really serious violations of the federal laws that are in place to protect passengers,” she added.

American Airlines has extended condolences to Greenidge's family in a statement: “Our thoughts are with Mr. Greenidge’s loved ones. We are going to decline further comment given this matter involves pending litigation."

Featured image credit: Drew Angerer/Getty