WDAY: The News Leader

Published April 28, 2014, 06:32 PM

Washington man goes the extra mile for area family

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - We now know more tonight in connection with an emergency landing at Hector by an Alaska Airlines jet.

By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - We now know more tonight in connection with an emergency landing at Hector by an Alaska Airlines jet.

While the medical emergency had a tragic end for a family, the remarkable show of support from a Good Samaritan has been the positive to come out of a sad situation.

Usually we hear very little about in-flight emergency landings that come here to Fargo.

But the story of an Alaska Airlines jet making an un-scheduled stop here because of a sick passenger is all about "paying it forward."

When runner Adam Cornell of Washington ran last year's marathon, he and all runners returned home shaken following the bombing. But he became part of the Boston Strong running community.

This sense of trying to recapture what was lost is really undescribable.

And so he ran again last week, finished, and headed back home Tuesday to Washington. But it was on board the Alaska Airlines flight while he stood in line for the restroom...

An elderly gentleman came out and was stumbling and did not appear to be able to stand on his own two feet.

Another passenger was having a heart attack. Flight crew members and nurse worked to save him, and the plane made an emergency landing in Fargo.

But rather than continue on his flight to Seattle from Fargo, Adam Cornell decided to pay it forward. He got off the plane here in Fargo and accompanied the heart attack victim's wife to Sanford.

The man who had the heart attack died. But Adam not only stayed with the man's wife at Sanford her in Fargo, he got her a hotel room, called her family and later, arranged to fly her back to Seattle. He went along, and stayed with her at the Seattle airport, until her family arrived to pick her up.

“Boston Strong has to be more than an expression, and you we heard it all weekend and if it is going to mean something, you have to do something and I was in a position to help somebody.”

The elderly couple had been in Boston to watch their daughter run the marathon.

I spoke with Adam Cornell this afternoon. He is a county prosecutor who can't say enough good about Fargo.

And Dana and Kerstin, He says everyone: from the police officer who drove them to Sanford, to the Hospital Chaplain who gave him a ride to the Radisson, he says we live in a very friendly city.