Erika Joergean Swart was traveling alone with her three children from Orlando to Newark, but she didn’t expect that her oldest daughter Gabby would develop a hefty fear of flying.
The little 9-year-old girl has flown before, but it appears that she didn’t feel comfortable on a plane anymore, at all. Unfortunately, Gabby’s dad didn’t make it on this trip and mom had her hands full taking care of her two other and younger children.
Gabby was completely filled with fear when the plane was in the air, and it was equally as heartbreaking as it was stressful.
To make things worse, Gabby is diabetic, and mom was worried that the stress would cause her sugar levels to crash.
However, a flight attendant aboard the Southwest Airlines plane noticed that the little girl felt uncomfortable and did everything he could to make her feel safer. The attendant, Garrick, immediately connected with Gabby and stayed close to her for the entire flight.
Garrick entertained her, told her stories, tried to make her laugh and kept bringing her drinks to keep her mind off the flying.
“Throughout the flight, he tried making her laugh and bringing her special drinks,” Gabby’s mom posted on the Southwest Airlines Facebook page.
However, a patch of turbulence suddenly triggered a severe panic attack and Gabby completely freaked out, especially when the plane started descending as it reached its destination.
“As we were getting closer weather was rough and there was a bit of turbulence. Gabby began having a complete panic attack on descent.”
Luckily, this flight attendant with a heart of gold was there the entire time for her and tried to make her feel as comfortable as possible.
He even asked her if he could sit right beside her in the empty seat. Gabby was still extremely scared and stressed out and grabbed the man’s arm. When mom noticed that her blood sugar levels were crashing, Garrick went to get her a drink.
“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.”
Garrick can definitely relate to this little girl’s fear of flying, as he has a daughter that’s about the same age. This incredible crew member kept her busy for hours and talked to her about school and pets.
Erika feared that the landing would be the worst part, but in the end, Gabby wasn’t even scared for a second.
This incredibly kind stranger helped her overcome her fear of flying, and he even did something extremely cool after the plane landed. He grabbed the intercom, told this special story to the other passengers and Gabby received a deserving round of applause from everyone aboard!
“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.”
Erika’s post on Facebook hasn’t gone unnoticed by Southwest as well, and they responded with a sweet comment, stating that the man will definitely receive the recognition he deserves for his heartwarming actions.
“Garrick showed excellent displays of Southwest Hospitality when helping reassure and entertain your daughter. 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. 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.”
What an amazing flight attendant and a brave little girl!
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This is Garrick, an employee of yours working flight 1264 flying from Orlando to Newark on Friday, July 8th and holding…
Source: Erika Jeorgean Swart