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Tim Tebow Helps Passengers During On-Flight Medical Emergency

by Becky Bratu /
Tim Tebow warms up against the Houston Texans on October 8, 2012.Alex Trautwig / Getty Images

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When a Phoenix-bound Delta flight encountered a medical emergency on Sunday, the last person anyone expected to rush to the distressed passenger's side was NFL quarterback Tim Tebow.

But he really did, said one of the passengers on Flight 1772, which had taken off from Atlanta.

"It was Tim Tebow, absolutely," Sonal, who wouldn't give his last name, told NBC News.

He said the flight had been uneventful until an attendant announced a medical emergency and asked whether there were any medical professionals on board. An older passenger was reportedly having heart problems.

The young woman sitting in front of Sonal raised her hand to help, but she wasn't the only one, according to an account posted on Facebook by another passenger.

"I watched strangers from all over the world and every ethnicity come to the help of this man for over an hour!" wrote Richard V. Gotti in a post that has gone viral. "Whether it was chest compressions, starting an IV, helping breathe life into this man, or praying everyone helped!"

Both passengers agreed that the Delta crew kept the situation under control.

"Everyone stayed calm, no one was screaming, [the] flight attendants did a good job,” Sonal said.

Tebow's appearance surprised everyone. Sonal said the football player had been sitting in business class but walked toward the back of the plane to ask what he could do to help.

"He was helping, consoling the family,” he said.

Gotti added, "He met with the family as they cried on his shoulder! I watched Tim pray with the entire section of the plane for this man."

A Delta spokesman confirmed that a medical emergency had been declared on the flight.

"We can't say enough about the Delta professionals who care for our customers every day and we are grateful to our customers who are so often quick to extend kindness and care to one another," the spokesman said.

According to Gotti, the people helping the passenger weren't able to get his pulse back until the plane landed in Phoenix.

For this, Sonal praised the young medical professional.

"She was there for him, performing CPR, trying to get him back," he said. "We all clapped for her."

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