Southwest Airlines Passenger Thanks “Selfless” Flight Attendant For Comforting Her Daughter

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Thanks to the prevalence of social media, news spreads farther than it used to. Some of what’s going on out there is awful and sad, but there are also bright spots to be found. Like the story of a Southwest Airlines flight attendant who went above and beyond to comfort a young passenger who was scared to fly.

The mom of a nine-year-old named Gabby wrote to the airline on Facebook about their recent experience, posting a photo of her daughter holding the arm of a crew member named Garrick, both of them with big smiles on their faces. She noted that her daughter is a type 1 diabetic “with severe flying anxiety.”

She says that the flight attendant noticed upon takeoff that Gabby was struggling, and tried to make her laugh throughout the flight, bringing her special drinks to take her mind off things. But when the plane hit some turbulence towards the end of the trip, Gabby started having a “complete panic attack,” her mom wrote.

That’s when Garrick asked if Gabby 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,” her mom noted. “She happily accepted his offer.”

To distract Gabby, he talked to her about everything from his daughter, who is the same age, to her pets, and what grade she’s going into, her mom said.

After some extra rough turbulence, Gabby started crying and held the flight attendant’s arm harder, her mom said, and he told her she could hang on as long as she needed.

“Just after this due to the extreme stress she was under her blood sugars began dangerously crashing,” she wrote. “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.”

Upon arrival, Garrick announced on the PA system that his friend Gabby had overcome her fear of flying, and asked for a round of applause, her mother wrote.

“The whole plane clapped for her,” she added. “It was a wonderful experience on Southwest. We are forever grateful to have met such a beautiful, selfless soul.”

Southwest responded to the post on Facebook, thanking Gabby’s mom for sharing and lauding the employee for his actions.

“Flight travel can be a scary thing for many, but our Crews really care about everyone’s experience. It warms our Heart to see such kindness and carrying from one of our amazing Flight Attendants, and we can’t even tell you how proud we are of your daughter for getting through the flight,” the airline wrote. “She is a brave girl and it was a pleasure having you and her both onboard with us. Rest assured, we will make sure that Garrick gets recognition he deserves for his kindness.”