Clovis native helps woman in distress

By Leslie Radford: CNJ staff writer

Duke Younger boarded Southwest Airlines flight 533 on June 6 in Dallas on his way to Albuquerque for business.

Little did he know just outside of Lubbock, he would aid in perhaps saving the life of a female passenger, whose name he never caught.

Younger, a former Clovis resident who lives in Dallas, said a stewardess noticed something was wrong with the woman and asked if anyone on the plane had medical experience.

“I think I was the only one on the plane that responded,” said Younger, who began his medical training with the Clovis Fire Department emergency medical service in 1973. “The woman was in a trance. At first, I thought she was having an epileptic seizure, but after going through some personal belongings, I found a bottle of insulin and needles. She was a diabetic.”

While anxious passengers on the jet stared at the woman twitching from diabetic seizure, Younger said he asked the stewardess to mix some sugar water that he rubbed in the woman’s mouth to hopefully bring her out of shock.

Younger said soon as the plane’s wheels touched ground at the Lubbock International Airport the young woman, who was traveling with a baby, woke up.

“I don’t think she knew what was going on,” he said. “But she started talking to us while we were waiting at the Lubbock airport for EMS.”

A Southwest Airlines representative said the woman, who’s name they could not release because of privacy laws, was treated at a Lubbock hospital and released and arrangements were made through the airline for her to return home.

Younger’s sister, Danna Younger, said her little brother has been saving lives for years.

“There’s been several instances he has saved people’s lives by administering CPR, et cetera,” said Danna Younger, who lives in Clovis. “There was one instance where a man had a heart attack in church and (my brother) kept him alive until EMS showed up. I don’t think he would have made it if my brother hadn’t helped him.”

Duke Younger works as a director of safety and health for a Dallas-based oil company.