Andrew Springs, a lifelong Ravens fan, had expected to fly back Thursday from Baltimore to Phoenix with Super Bowl dreams. He’d come back home over the weekend to visit his parents, who live in Roland Park, and attend Sunday’s AFC championship game, only to watch the Kansas City Chiefs end the Ravens’ season.

But when Springs, 34, was jostled awake about three hours into his early-morning Southwest Airlines flight, he found a nightmarish scene unfolding. A woman in the row ahead of him was having a medical emergency. A doctor from the front of the plane and a nurse from the back had rushed to her aid, helping the flight attendants, but “it was not good,” Springs said.

The woman was falling in and out of consciousness. Her blood pressure was alarmingly low. Her heart rate had slowed. The woman’s husband couldn’t explain what might be happening. “Chaotic,” Springs called it.

“They kept doing these tests,” he said, “and nothing worked.”

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Then someone nearby offered another suggestion: “‘Hey, do you think her blood sugar could be low? I have a diabetic testing kit.”

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Springs, who lives in Scottsdale, Arizona, looked over from his window seat. Two seats to his right was Ravens tight end Mark Andrews, a native of Scottsdale. Andrews, who has Type 1 diabetes, took out the kit, which had a finger-prick device to measure glucose levels, and explained to the group tending to the woman how to use it.

Her blood sugar was low — severe hypoglycemia can lead people to pass out, suffer a seizure or even fall into a coma — and the plane’s crew fetched her juice and cookies. After about 15 to 20 minutes, Springs said, the woman seemed to stabilize.

“It was cool to see so many human beings just jump in,” Springs said. “People just kind of put whatever they were doing aside, and they were with her for the last 90 minutes of the flight.”

“In addition to the fast-acting flight attendants, the real heroes are the nurse and doctor who also happened to be on the plane,” Andrews said in a statement released by the Ravens. “Thankfully, they were able to provide the woman the quick assistance she needed.”

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From left: Andrew Springs, 34; his father, Orlando Springs, 78; and his twin brother, Tyler Springs, 34, at Sunday's AFC championship game. (Andrew Springs)

By the end of the flight, the woman was still in pain, Springs said, and required an oxygen mask. But she was able to move to another seat and the plane landed without further incident.

As the flight deplaned, Andrews’ celebrity seemed to elude most of the passengers who’d witnessed the scene. One woman asked him for a photo. A young man joked with Andrews that he should join him and his friends on a golf trip. Andrews politely said he’d consider it.

Springs, despite his fandom, kept to himself. He was struck by how much Andrews had seemed to care about the woman, while others busied themselves on their phone. It was the same Andrews who played for his favorite football team.

“I didn’t want an autograph,” Springs said. “I just wanted to tell him thanks. I know it means a lot to him that he came back [for the playoffs], and it meant a lot to his teammates. But the fans who really are diehards, they invest themselves, it means a lot, win or lose.”

Jonas Shaffer is a Ravens beat writer for The Baltimore Banner. He previously covered the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun. Shaffer graduated from the University of Maryland and grew up in Silver Spring. 

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