Small was about to embark on a Caribbean cruise with her husband.
The couple's son, mike small says it took paramedics 20 minutes to reach his mother and there wasn't working life safe saving equipment nearby.
"My biggest frustration is I will never know if this happened at O'Hare would she still be alive if the medics were on scene and if the defibrillator were within reach, if there was anyone there trained to know how to use it. I think there were enough people around and if they had a defibrillator they could have done something," said Small.
A task force has been put together to determine how emergency medical services at the airport can be improved.