American Airlines made one teen’s birthday dream come true when they inducted her as their first flight attendant with special needs and a terminal illness on Saturday, October 13th.
Shantell “Princess” Pooser, 17, has Downs Syndrome and suffers from a terminal illness, a series of airway defects called laryngomalacia, tracheomalacia, and tracheobronchial malacia.
Deanna Miller Berry, Princess’ mother, told WIS News 10 that when Princess’ airway defects took a turn for the worse a couple of years ago, she and Princess had to fly between their home and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.
“So far, we’ve been on over 57 [flights]. That’s including the connecting flights, as well, too,” Berry said.
On these flights, Princess noticed the flight attendants.
Berry said, “She saw the flight attendant and she was like, “Mommy, I want to be a flight attendant.’”
A pilot with American Airlines learned of Princess’ dream and helped to make it a reality on her birthday.
On Saturday, Princess rocked an American Airlines flight attendant uniform through the airport and entered a plane filled with family and friends. She even got to say “welcome” over the speaker.
Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin was in attendance for the induction ceremony, and one of the pilots played the piano as the crowd waited to board the plane.
This birthday party and flight attendant induction was much needed for Princess and her family.
Berry explained that Princess’ airways are now more than 87% obstructed, adding, “After the newest, recent scans, they were so scary to the point now where the doctors in Cincinnati say there’s nothing more that they can do for her. So, you just figure what can you do to make a difference.”
Princess has lived far beyond the doctors’ expectations, and she continues “going for great,” now that her dreams of being a flight attendant with American Airlines have come true.
SOURCE: Travel Pulse