Cleveland Clinic doctor saves patient on flight to Cleveland

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CLEVELAND, OH - "I could have been dead and not here."

Ashley Spencer gets emotional when talking about her near-death experience.

It happened May 5th,  just a few minutes into American Airlines Flight 5471.

Spencer, 28, from Bucks County, Pennsylvania says after eating a bag of chips, something went horribly wrong.

Spencer said, "I'm starting to feel like my throat is getting tight."

Ashley says she made it to the bathroom in the back of the plane where she got sick.

But when trying to head back to her first class seat, she went into anaphylactic shock.

"Evidently I just opened the bathroom door and I kind just like fell out."

Ashley’s mom was traveling with her. Norah Spencer said, "It was not a good sight. She used her two epipens and then I believe there was an epipen in there."

The plane had to be diverted to Pittsburgh for an emergency landing.

"The EMS had to carry her off the plane and put her on a stretcher up the jetway,” said Norah.

When Ashley came to, while still on board, she says there were two doctors administering first aid, one of whom happened to be a doctor from the Cleveland Clinic.

"Very, very honored that he was on the plane and was able to save my life."

Cardiologist Doctor Erich Kiehl was in the right place at the right time.

Kiehl works at the same Clinic location where Ashley and her mother were heading to for an appointment for a pre-existing auto-immune disease.

Was it just coincidence or divine intervention?

Norah said, "And I am very religious so I do believe God put them there for a reason, and the reason was to keep my daughter alive.”

Ashley says, "I have a reason and I have a purpose for being here."

The Spencers plan on reuniting with Dr. Kiehl to thank him in person at the Clinic very soon.

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