This is Garrick, an employee of yours working flight 1264 flying from Orlando to Newark on Friday, July 8th and holding his arm is my 9-year-old daughter, Gabby, a type 1 diabetic with severe flying anxiety. Upon take off he noticed she was struggling. Throughout the flight, he tried making her laugh and bringing her special drinks. As we were getting closer weather was rough and there was a bit of turbulence.
Gabby began having a complete panic attack on descent. He came up to the front and asked if she would like for him to sit next to her in the empty seat. I was flying without my husband with two other smaller children and couldn’t leave my row, in the photo she is holding my hand from across the aisle.
She happily accepted his offer. He suggested they talk to distract her from thinking about the landing so they talked for around 30 minutes about everything from his daughter who is the same age to her pets to what grade she is going into. During extremely rough turbulence she began crying and grabbed his arm, he gently told her she could hang on as long as she needed to. Just after this due to the extreme stress she was under her blood sugars began dangerously crashing. He got up from his seat to get her an orange juice and came right back to sit with her.
She asked again if she could continue to hold his arm while the plane was landing. He of course agreed. Once on the ground while taxiing to the gate he came on the intercom and announced that his friend, Gabby, in the front row overcame her fears of flying and asked for a round of applause. The whole plane clapped for her. It was a wonderful experience on Southwest. We are forever grateful to have met such a beautiful, selfless soul.
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