Teenage girl’s incredible act for stranger on plane
WHILE passengers usually make headlines for fighting, brawling or complaining on planes, this teenage girl's mid-flight actions are going viral for all the right reasons.
Clara Daly, 15, was travelling with her mum on an Alaska Airlines flight from Boston to Los Angeles when she stepped in to selflessly help a stranger who was deaf and blind.
The passenger, Tim Cook, was flying home alone after visiting his sister in Boston but despite everyone's best efforts, he struggled to communicate with the cabin crew.
During the flight, a flight attendant took to the intercom to ask if anyone on board knew sign language - and that's when Clara stepped in.
The teenager, who was dyslexic, had started learning sign language over the past year to help her communicate without reading or writing.
She kindly knelt down beside Mr Cook and using sign language, gestured into the palm of his hand to speak with him.
"They (the flight attendant) explained that the passenger was not only deaf, but also blind. The only way you can communicate with him was by signing into his hand," Clara's mum Jane Daly wrote on Facebook.
"He asked her lots of questions and she signed-spelled the answers into his hand. The flight attendants and the passengers around him were all taken by Clara."
Ms Daly also shared photos of Clara helping Mr Cook as several passengers watched on.
Clara helped Mr Cook ask for water and for information about much time there was until they arrived at Los Angeles.
But mostly they just chatted, with Clara spending the rest of the flight by Mr Cook's side.
"He didn't need anything. He was just like lonely and wanted to talk," Clara told CBS Los Angeles.
She also told Fox59 she chatted to Mr Cook about her family in Massachusetts and he asked about her plans for the future.
Another passenger who posted a photo of Clara and Mr Cook on Facebook said their encounter was "beautiful".
"It was fascinating to watch as she (Clara) signed one letter at a time into his hand," Lynette Scribner wrote.
"He was able to 'read' her signing and they carried on an animated conversation."
Ms Scribner said she didn't know when she'd seen "so many people rally to take care of another human being".
"All of us in the immediate rows were laughing and smiling and enjoying his obvious delight in having someone to talk to," she said.
"Huge kudos to the flight attendants of Alaska Airlines who went above and beyond to meet Tim's needs. I can't say enough about this beautiful young woman named Clara who didn't think twice about helping her fellow passenger.
"It was a beautiful reminder, in this time of too much awfulness, that there are still good, good people who are willing to look out for each other."
Jane Daly revealed the flight she and Clara were meant to take had been cancelled, which is how they ended up on Mr Cook's flight.
She said her daughter thought it was meant to be.
"After the flight, Clara told me she thought it was meant to be that our original flight was cancelled and we were placed on this flight, so she could be there to help Tim," she said.
When the flight arrived, Mr Cook was picked up at the gate by a service provider who took him to the senior living facility where he lived.
He reportedly told Alaska Airlines it was the best flight he'd ever been on, Fox News reported.