Sunday, August 4, 2019

A Down syndrome story

A South Carolina teen who was made an honorary American Airlines flight attendant last year was treated to a special surprise on Monday, when she arrived for her flight to Cincinnati for a high-risk, potentially life-saving surgery to improve her breathing. Shantell “Princess” Pooser, who is terminally ill, arrived to a gate-side celebration and VIP treatment, even featuring a dance session and photo shoot with Cinderella.

The aircraft was even emblazoned with a new “Princess Shannie’s PSA Jet” sticker on the door.
Pooser, who has Down syndrome and various airway diseases, was en route to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital for a surgery to improve her breathing. Doctors are planning to fit her with a prosthetic tracheotomy, to address her issues breathing. Pooser’s airway is currently obstructed 87 percent, and if she’s having a flare-up, she’s completely obstructed, her mother said.

According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, the surgery has just a 10 percent success rate, but without it, Pooser has just between six and nine months to live.  A Facebook post from Miller-Berry on Wednesday morning indicated that the procedure had been a success.

It’s important to celebrate her now,” Deanna Miller-Berry, Pooser’s mother, said. “She needs to see the support and support that she has. And the love and support that she’s gotten from American Airlines is beyond what I could ever ask for.”

Pooser first connected with the crew over her 50 flights back-and-forth to Cincinnati for medical care. A spokesman for American Airlines said Pooser is a “close friend, and honorary colleague to the American team.”

“Her smile will just light up the room, she has so much joy,” Casablanca Francis, a PSA flight attendant said.

In addition to her gate-side parties and celebrations, the flight attendants and crew collected scarfs that she can use after her surgery to help cover her trach.

“No matter what the outcome, I’ll be able to say as a parent that I did everything I could to save my baby, that’s all that matters and I had ya’ll to help me do it,” Miller-Berry said, of the American Airlines crew.

1 comment:

  1. One young Australian woman with Down syndrome achieved her dream of serving as a flight attendant, with a little help from Jetstar Airways.

    “My passion about being a flight attendant is making people happy,” Georgia Knoll of Queensland said on the special day she hit the high skies as an official, honorary airline staffer, as per a Jetstar video.

    Back in November, footage of Knoll practicing all the right moves of a bona fide flight attendant – from distributing snacks to donning a safety mask – went viral on Facebook after being posted by her sister, Kathryn, The Epoch Times reports.

    “I thought ‘I’ll just tag some companies, and if something comes of it it’ll be lots of fun," Kathryn said, "and then Jetstar contacted us and said ‘We’d love to have her on, can we sort something out here?’”

    Fast-forward to the present and Knoll recently spent a day with the carrier, serving with the cabin crew. Video footage shared by Jetstar of the April 3 adventure has since been viewed over 448,000 times on Facebook.

    Accompanied by her mother, Debra, the 25-year-old woman was welcomed by Jetstar staffers at the airport and was outfitted in a sharp uniform. Knoll pitched in for a 590-mile flight from Brisbane to Mackay, helping to greet passengers, assist with a safety demonstration and serve passengers, as per the Times.

    As evidenced in the heartwarming clip, the sweet young lady was clearly over the moon throughout the “awesome” experience.

    “She’s very passionate about people all being treated the same,” Debra said. “I think it tells society that you don’t put limitations on people.”

    “It’s good to be Down syndrome,” Knoll added. “It’s who I am.”

    “I’m just trying to break through barriers… [to] push everything aside, just be yourself,” she continued.

    Jetstar flight attendant Nicky, meanwhile, said it was a joy to have Knoll around for the day.

    “Georgia is so full of life and is great with our customers, she was such a fantastic addition to our team and we all felt so lucky to have her spend the day with us,” Nicky said, as per Yahoo News.

    Social media commenters, too, lobbied for Knoll to join the airline as a full-time staffer.

    “Why was this just for a day, she seems to have nailed it!” one fan wrote.

    “It would be great if Georgia got to join the Jetstar team permanently. Such an inspiration! Well done Jetstar,” another agreed.