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TSA Officer Credited with Saving Passenger’s Life at Orlando Airport

TSA Officer Kenneth Ordenana.

By Steve Neavling

A TSA officer at Orlando International Airport was on a coffee break at 5:30 a.m. when a member of the airport cleaning staff alerted him that a passenger was unconscious in a restroom. 

“My initial reaction was shock,” the officer Kenneth Ordenana said in a TSA news release. “Is this really happening? One-hundred thoughts raced through my mind not knowing what to expect while I was heading to the bathroom ready to dial 911 with my phone already in hand.”

Ordenana rushed to the restroom and found a man who wasn’t breathing and had no pulse. While on the phone with a 911 operator, he began CPR. 

A Delta Air Lines employee joined Ordenana, and the pair worked to revive the passenger for more than 10 minutes until paramedics arrived. 

“Life is precious,” Ordenana said. “Although I do not know this man, never met this man before, I had tremendous compassion and empathy for him. The only thing on my mind was I wanted him to get through this and for him to live.”

When medics rushed the man to the hospital, he was breathing on his own and had a pulse. 

“The man would not have made it the 10 minutes it took for additional help to arrive without [Officer] Ordenana’s actions,” Orlando Deputy Federal Security Director Greg Hawko said. “We are proud he is a member of Team MCO. His quick thinking and care of others, especially during the current environment of distancing, saved a man’s life.”

Ordenana turned philosophical. 

“A single act of kindness throws roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees,” he said. “We don’t know what troubles others are going through in this chaotic world; it is also called being human. Whether it’s family, financial, personal or health, it’s important to be kind to one another more than ever because we do have a choice – a choice on how to treat others. A single and simple act of kindness can make someone’s day and the power to change someone’s life. So, choose kindness.”


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