Beverly Young knew there was a reason she missed her flight to the nation's capital Monday.
Young, the outspoken wife of Florida Rep. C.W. Bill Young of Indian Shores, found out why on Wednesday, during a two-hour US Airways flight from Tampa to Washington, D.C.
Minutes after takeoff, Young heard the flight crew call for anyone with medical training.
An 81-year-old woman travelling to Pittsburgh with her 17-year-old granddaughter to attend her husband's funeral had passed out in the bathroom.
"We had just taken off and I was on page 13 of my new book," said Young, 53. "I think God put me on that plane for a reason."
Young, who did a stint as a firefighter and medic in her 20s, put down the book and jumped over her husband to get to the woman, who had reported feeling nauseated earlier.
"She passed out right away. Her lips were turning blue," Young said. "I just blew once, compressed once, and that made her cough."
After she revived the woman, who also has a home in Crystal River, Young did what she could to keep the woman awake.
They chatted about grandchildren, jewelry and politics. The woman said she was a Democrat but promised to vote for Young's husband next time.
"At one point she pulled her oxygen mask off and said, 'I can finally tell my kids I've flown in first class,' " Young said.
When the plane landed at Reagan National Airport, Young walked the woman to awaiting paramedics. She gave the granddaughter instructions about what to do at the Arlington, Va., hospital.
Later, she helped the family find a reasonable hotel, offering her own home if they weren't comfortable.
"It was just simple," she said. "It wasn't as heroic as it sounds. It just stays with you. It's a natural instinct."