Seizure Triggers Diversion of Southbound Portland Flight

, Written by Lyle Ahrens, Posted: Mon, June 24 2013 at 8:32 PM, Updated: Mon, June 24 2013 at 4:55 PM

A southbound flight from Portland was diverted to Reno Sunday when a young girl from Klamath Falls suffered an in-flight seizure...It's the latest chapter in the life of cancer survivor and burn victim Ireland Lane.

12 year old Ireland Lane is still recovering from burns suffered at a Portland hospital last February, when static electricity ignited hand sanitizer on her clothing.

Stephen Lane says his daughter still has emotional scars that sometimes show up in the form of seizures...

"It's not neurological.  It's just her poor little mind can't handle stress anymore."

An Alaska Airlines flight made an emergency landing in Reno Sunday when Ireland had one of those seizures.

"It starts off with her going catatonic - you can't wake her up."  Explains Stephen Lane.  "Then she starts rhythmically shaking, jerking - like an actual grand mal seizure."

After being checked out at a Reno hospital, Ireland was flown to Seattle, then down to Ontario, California - and on to summer camp.

Ireland recently completed fifth grade at Conger Elementary School in Klamath Falls, but now she's headed down to a summer camp called 'Angel Faces'.

Stephen Lane explains that the camp helps teen girls like Ireland cope with the emotional aftermath of burn trauma...

"She gets to make friends that she can talk to about how she's feeling, girls who know what she's gone through and can help her."

In an interview last April, Ireland noted that she's getting used to the attention.

"Were you surprised at all of the attention that people are wanting to interview you?'  'No.'  'No?  How come?'  'Because people love me."

And Ireland's love for others is evident, too.

Ireland is the oldest of four kids in the Lane family. 

Ireland was diagnosed with a rare form of kidney cancer at the age of six, and has undergone over 40 surgeries since that diagnosis.

You can learn more about the 'Angel Faces' program at:   

Incident Location

What do you think? Sound off on our Facebook page and on Twitter, or leave a comment below.

About the Author

Lyle Ahrens

KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970's.  He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.

Lyle's job history is quite colorful.  He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand.  A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90's as a news writer and commercial producer.  In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.

Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience.  "The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain.  Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story".

When he's not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.

Leave a Comment:

Note: Comments with profanity are automatically filtered and hidden. Verbal attacks towards others via our comments section will not be tolerated.