Nurses talk about rescuing ill pilot on United flight from Des Moines to Denver

DENVER - The two nurses who helped save a United Airlines pilot in distress during a flight to Denver last month are talking about the action they took at 32,000 feet.

It was Monday, December 30. United spokeswoman Karen May said Flight 1637 was on its way from Des Moines to Denver when the pilot became ill.

"They came over the PA, asking if anybody on board had any medical experience," said Amy Sorenson.

Sorenson, a nurse from Wyoming, and Linda Alweiss, a nurse from California raced from coach to the cockpit.

The found the pilot in trouble.

"He was kind of slumped over in his chair and he was mumbling incoherently," Alweiss told ABC News. "I then turned to the co-pilot, 'You know how to land the plane, right?'"

"We just jumped," Sorenson said. "Knowing that the patient needed care, [we] just jumped into our roles."

Alweiss and Sorenson told ABC News they treated the pilot in the galley, giving him medication, oxygen and fluids to keep him stable, while the co-pilot and a retired military pilot on board turned the plane toward Omaha.

The flight, with 160 passengers and crew, landed safely.

The pilot was taken to the hospital.

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