Shock as Kenyan student dies mysteriously on plane back home in the US
The 18-year-old was studying to become a doctor at the University of San Diego, California.
Griffin Gutwa, fell asleep aboard the plane as was heading back home for the Christmas holidays and never woke up.
According to the New York Post, Gutwa boarded a Delta Airlines flight from San Diego to Minneapolis on the morning of December 22 after calling his family informing them he was on his way home for Christmas.
"He had just finished his exams. He was excited to come home from the University of San Diego, California, where he was studying to be a doctor," his grief-stricken father, Gideon Gutwa said.
Flight attendant assistance
Passengers on board the Delta Airlines plane disclosed that an hour into the flight, Griffin asked for warm water and later leaned his head against the window and fell asleep.
The passenger seated next to him later alerted a flight attended after noticing Griffin's breathing had changed.
The attendant realised something was wrong after he found out the 18-year-old was not breathing and called for a professional on board the plane to assist.
The pilot was forced to make an emergency landing at the nearest airport at Sioux Falls, South Dakota where paramedics reportedly tried in vain for over 45 minutes to revive Gutwa but to no avail.
Gutwa's body was left in Sioux Falls as the plane continued on with its journey.
Gutwa's father was later called at about 6pm by Minneapolis St Paul International Airport to pick up his son.
Upon arrival at the airport, Gideon Gutwa who had already gathered the rest of the family was asked if he was the father of Griffin which made him confused as to why they asked him the question.
"How come they know my son?" he posed.
He was later directed to an office where they told him Griffin was dead to his and the family's shock.
"I thought I was dreaming. I could not believe it. He was very healthy. He had just been here for thanksgiving. We were expecting him to arrive safely," Gideon lamented.
Griffin was described as a responsible, outgoing and helpful teenager and had planned to use his medical degree to help the less fortunate.
He dreamt of one day returning to Kenya to start non-profit organisations to help alleviate poverty.
The cause of his death is still under investigation by the Sioux Falls medical examiner.
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