Whenever airlines make it to the headlines, more often than not, it is all due to the wrong reasons. Fortunately this time, a teenage girl boarding a flight with Alaska Airlines gives us a reason to believe that a pleasantly memorable encounter could be experienced by passengers during their flight.
Clara Daly, a fifteen-year-old teenager, together with her mom, was traveling home to Los Angeles, from Boston Massachusetts. The mother and daughter were scheduled to board a different flight. However, it seems that fate has a different plan for the young woman. Clara and her mother’s original flight schedule was canceled and was rebooked on another flight.
Meanwhile, Tim Cook, a man from Portland, Oregon, was flying home on his own after visiting his sister in Boston. Since Tim is deaf and blind, he was certainly having difficulty in communicating with the cabin crew. The limited familiarity of the airlines’ crew with sign language also posed a problem in trying to understand each other.
To make the process of communication with Tim easier and more comfortable, the flight attendant of the flight had decided to ask if there was anyone on the plane who is proficient with American Sign Language. Fortunately for the blind and deaf man, Clara was on the same flight with him.
Clara, has been studying the American Sign Language over the past few years due to her condition of dyslexia. After observing Tim and knowing that her skills are needed, she did not think twice about ringing her button to inform the flight attendant about her intention to be of service.
“How are you?” Clara asked Tim. “Are you Okay?”
Clara empathetically knelt down beside Tim and used the sign language she learned in order to effectively communicate with him. The kind young lady helped Tim to ask for water when he was thirsty; she also informed the blind and deaf man about the time, and she also had a good time exchanging stories about their life. During their flight, Clara found out information about Tim’s childhood and his sister. Tim on the other hand, also learned about her school and her grandmother.
One of the passengers, Ms. Scribner, a 56-year-old woman traveling to Seaside Oregon, happened to sit in the same row as Tim. The woman, just like the rest of the passengers, was genuinely happy that someone from their flight could accompany and assist the blind and deaf man. She was deeply touched by the heartwarming sight of Tim and Clara talking to each other, that she took a picture of the encounter happening before her eyes and shared it to Facebook.
“I don’t know when I’ve ever seen so many people rally to take care of another human being,” the woman wrote on her Facebook post. “All of us in the immediate rows were laughing and smiling and enjoying his obvious delight in having someone to talk to.” Ms. Scribner was also happy to observe how Tim’s frustration was greatly reduced due to Clara’s kind gestures.
The inspiring post of the woman quickly captured the attention of the public, in just a short time, Tim and Clara’s story has already gathered more than millions of likes and hundred thousands of shares.
“I was just so struck by the kindness of Clara… I think people were starving for something beautiful.” The woman shared, thinking about the reason why her post became viral in an instant.
“Helen Keller said deaf and blind people are the loneliest people in the world,” Tim shared. “When I heard that I started crying.” Tim lives in a home for the deaf in Gresham, Oregon, according to an interview, the blind and deaf man is already used to isolation and loneliness.
According to the spokeswoman for Brookdale Senior Living, Tim was shocked and overwhelmed that a lot of people are so interested about his and Clara’s story.
The blind and deaf man also noted in an interview that he was very moved and deeply touched that Clara, a teenager, took time to speak and spend time with him “Maybe it was meant to be, who knows?”; Tim added.
Perhaps, it was fate that Tim and Clara boarded the same flight. Whatever brought them together, this is a beautiful way of reminding people that despite all the bad news we have been hearing, our world is still filled with compassionate and kind human beings who are always willing and ready to lend a helping hand.
Watch the heartwarming video below showing how Clara, a teenage girl, was able to make a big difference in the life of a deaf and blind Tim.
Photos and Video | KGW News