Grandmother of Orlando victim showered with love on flight
People can sometimes be rude on airplanes, but not on the Orlando-bound JetBlue flight that attendant Kelly Davas Karas wrote about on her Facebook page. On board was the grandmother of 20-year-old Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo (called "Omar" by his loved ones), one of the 49 victims of the Orlando Pulse nightclub shootings.
Once the crew found out who the passenger was, they were prepared to make her flight as pleasant as possible. "Today my dear friend Melinda I had the sad privilege of attending to his grandmother on our flight as she made her journey to Orlando to join her family during this unspeakable time," the flight attendant began.
She continued, "Knowing she was making this hard journey alone, JetBlue employees made sure to be at her side every step of the way. Melinda stood quietly by her wheelchair while we waited until it was time to board. Kellie, the gate agent, boarded with her and helped get her settled. Melinda and I gave her a blanket, a pillow, a box of tissues and water so she could be as comfortable as possible. She was understandably distraught, but met us with kindness and gentleness. And gratitude."
The kindness of the JetBlue employees did not stop there-- and it was not just limited to the flight crew.
Karas continued, "But here's where our flight got truly inspiring. I had the idea to pass around a piece of paper to everyone on board and invite them to sign it for this grieving grandmother. I talked it over with Melinda and she started the process from the back of the plane. As we took beverage orders, we whispered a heads up about the plan as we went."
The passengers did not take Kara's invitation lightly. "Halfway through, Melinda called me, 'Kel, I think you should start another paper from the front. Folks are writing PARAGRAPHS.'"
Davas went on, "When we landed, I made an announcement that the company had emailed to us earlier in the morning to use as an optional addition to our normal landing announcement, which states 'JetBlue stands with Orlando.' Then with her permission and at the request of a couple of passengers, we offered a moment of silence in Omar's memory."
The passengers did not just write to the grandmother.
Karas explained, "EVERY SINGLE PERSON STOPPED TO OFFER HER THEIR CONDOLENCES. Some just said they were sorry, some touched her hand, some hugged her, some cried with her. But every single person stopped to speak to her, and not a single person was impatient at the slower deplaning process."
Karas ended her post with a hopeful message: "I am moved to tears yet again as I struggle to put our experience into words. In spite of a few hateful, broken human beings in this world who can all too easily legally get their hands on mass assault weapons - people ARE kind. People DO care. And through our customers' humanity today, and through the generosity of this wonderful company I am so grateful to work for, I am hopeful that someday soon we can rally together to make the world a safer place for all."
Omar's friend started a GoFundMe page to help his family pay for funeral services. As of Thursday morning, they are just shy of their $10,000 goal.
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