By Nikki Schwab, Washington Whispers
Although CNN's Sanjay Gupta rejected his offer of the surgeon general's job, President Obama shouldn't give up looking at TV news personalities for inspiration. May we suggest Fox's Greta Van Susteren? She doesn't play a doctor on TV, but she recently did in real life, potentially saving the life of Washington blogger and Air America Radio host Ana Marie Cox.
Cox, sitting alone, and Van Susteren, with her hubby, John Coale, were aboard a New York-to-Washington Amtrak train last month when Cox suddenly fell ill, her throat tightening from an allergic reaction. "They have this lentil salad on the train, and it happened almost immediately after that," recalled Cox, who is not sure what caused the "indescribably terrifying" attack.
Alarmed, Van Susteren's husband nudged Greta, who moved in on Cox. "She was like 'I think I know what is happening to you. Don't worry about it. We're going to get you a Benadryl,' " Cox remembered a calming Van Susteren saying. A food allergy sufferer herself, Greta was ready with a backup plan: She carries an EpiPen epinephrine shot for her own emergencies. "If she hadn't been there, I don't know what would have happened. It would have been a thousand times worse," says Cox.
The two didn't see each other afterward until last weekend's White House Correspondents' Association dinner, when the star of On the Record With Greta Van Susteren and the host of Air America's The Inside Story bumped into each other in the ladies' room. Cox offered a very sincere "thank you for saving my life." Later, Van Susteren told us, "I didn't do anything heroic. I did what anyone would have done." And she had a suggestion for Amtrak: Keep Benadryl onboard.
Illustration by Ed Wexler for USN&WR
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