Air travel is often stressful for many people especially during the holiday season. Security checks, the increased number of people at the airport, loudspeaker announcements, flight delays, and safety checks can be a little overwhelming for anyone there. While this can be a stressing part for anyone, it can be a nightmare for anyone living with autism. The sensory overload involved would quickly throw an autistic person into a distressing situation. One of these events happened a few days before Christmas at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport but the way one woman and the airport staff handled it left many people’s heart melting with love.
Man Lying On The Floor
In December 2016, Shaina Murry from Texas was looking for her gate at the airport terminal ready to depart. It was at this time that she spotted a distressed man lying on the floor. Finding this was an alarming situation at the airport, she moved closer and it was clear that the man was not doing well. In a Facebook post, Murry said she decided to ask him a few questions before calling for medical help. Upon asking “Will” what was ailing him, he repeatedly said that he feared missing his flight to see his mom at home. It did not take long for Shaina Murray to realize that the young man was on the autism spectrum.
The woman dropped everything, including her flight and sought help for the distressed man who goes by the name Will K. An assurance is sometimes all one needs. He calmed down after a few minutes once Murry confirmed everything would be fine.
She went ahead and called his mother to inform her that her son was not feeling well and was seeing medical personnel at the airport. Will’s mother confirmed that her son indeed had autism, and thus Murry informed the medical team at Dallas, who responded immediately. The medical team said that he needed something to eat and drink to keep him from falling ill.
At this point, most people would opt to catch their flight once the ill person was doing well.
However, Murry did the unexpected; she worked with the medical team at the Dallas airport and ensured them she would make sure he ate lunch and provide the care he needed until he got on his plane. After changing her flight, she accompanied Will to lunch and stayed until he caught his plane where the airport staff took over his care.
After the Delays
Changing your flight usually comes with additional costs but the American Airlines team did not charge her even a dime for changing her flight. The team, in fact, went the extra mile to call her while they were eating lunch to let them know of the gate change on the gate. Murry wanted to acknowledge the airport team who could have dismissed Will’s distressed state and failed to provide the help he needed. However, they gave special attention to this man from Louisville, Kentucky to ensure he got home safely to see his mom for Christmas.
Murry stated the day ended even better than she expected. She had the good fortune to witness Will’s golden heart and his love of his mother and sister. She was delighted to meet Will and be a part of the group who helped him celebrate Christmas with his mother and sister.
It is in the small acts of kindness that these amazing moments are had. There are moments that we need a little help regardless of our age, ability, or social status. It is touching stories like Murry’s that are an example of the little things that we do that may appear insignificant, but may mean the world to a person in need. Her selfless efforts are an indication that not all hope is gone; there are good and kind people out there who are ready to sacrifice anything for the well-being of another. As such, Murry’s Facebook post received many shares, likes, and comments applauding her action at the airport in Dallas, reminding us all that it is the small acts of kindness that make a difference in the world.