The woman who forged the way forward for strong female leads in science fiction, Carrie Fisher, is in an ICU in Los Angeles after suffering a serious heart attack on a flight from London to LA.
Carrie was rushed by paramedics to a hospital in LA after her flight landed in LAX around 12pm on Friday.
She was on United Airlines Flight 935 from London to Los Angeles when she collapsed. Flight Attendants and passengers with medical qualifications cared for her, with one, an EMT, providing her with what sounds like it was almost constant CPR.
The airline is being understandably cagey with their responses, because it’s their duty to maintain Carrie’s privacy, but tweets from passengers on the flight give us some insight into what happened:
Anna Akana (@AnnaAkana):
“Don’t know how else to process this but Carrie Fisher stopped breathing on the flight home. Hope she’s gonna be OK [sad face emoji]”
8:06AM – 24 Dec 2016
Brad Gage (@bradgage):
“I’m in complete shock. @AnnaAkana and I sat in front of Carrie Fisher on our flight from London and she was just taken off the plane by EMTs”
8:03AM – 24 Dec 2016
Carrie had been in London on a book tour promoting The Princess Diarist, her latest in a long line of books.
According to Carrie’s brother, Todd Fisher, an earlier report that she was in a stable condition was “writing between the lines“, and that Carrie is still in ICU. Todd says she is not in a stable condition. “She’s in ICU and everybody’s praying for her,” was his report to Variety in a phone interview earlier today. “There’s nothing new from the doctors. There’s nothing new at all… there’s no good news or bad news.”
Multiple news and Science Fiction sites are reporting on this story, and you can obtain updates from them. Here are a few links:
While many of us know and love Carrie for her ground breaking performance as Princess Leia Organa, she is just as widely known for her advocacy work around mental health – in particular Bi-Polar Mood Disorder which she suffers from, and as an acclaimed novelist and respected script doctor.
Carrie’s first book, the semi-biographical Postcards from the Edge, blew me away when I first read it. The novel was eventually made into a film starring Meryl Streep, and was followed by a number of other books culminating most recently in The Princess Diarist.
2016 has already been a very rough year for many of us. One person on Twitter summed up what has happened best:
“Dear 2016, don’t you dare take Carrie Fisher”
10:00AM – 24 Dec 2016
William Shatner, Star Trek‘s Captain James T. Kirk, was one of the first well-wishers to jump on Twitter and send his regards. Carrie and Bill have had a long running faux-feud on Twitter, often focusing on which series is best – Star Wars or Star Trek. Bill tweeted:
William Shatner (@WilliamShatner):
“I ask everyone to stop for a moment and send special thoughts to @carriefisher.”
8:33AM – 24 Dec 2016
Carrie’s long time co-star and friend, Mark Hamill, also added his voice to the well-wishes:
Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself):
“as if 2016 couldn’t get any worse… sending all our love to @carriefisher”
9:41AM – 24 Dec 2016
Bette Midler and Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca) also sent their love:
Bette Midler (@BetteMidler):
“#CarrieFisher’s had a heart attack; hope and pray she recovers soon. Quick witted, hilarious on paper and in person, and just plain beloved.”
10:32AM – 24 Dec 2016
Peter Mayhew (@TheWookieRoars):
“Thoughts and prayers for our friend and everyone’s favourite princess right now.. @carriefisher”
8:48AM – 24 Dec 2016
I join everyone with my well wishes. Carrie has been an inspiration to me since I was a boy, and has remained one throughout my adult life.
Please get better soon, Carrie, and please leave the ICU ASAP, well on the road to recovery. May there be no long term damage of any kind, and may you continue to bring joy into our lives for many years to come – and I really want to see you as General Organa in Episode IX!
If you’d like to add your voice to thousands of others and have a Twitter account, just search for @carriefisher.
Also send some love to her family, her daughter Billie Lourd, her mother Debbie Reynolds, and her brother Todd Fisher as they wait anxiously for good news.