25 June 2018

Incident on an airplane

"I saw this gentleman, Tim, in Boston's Logan airport with the sister he'd been visiting. It appeared he was both deaf and blind, as I observed her signing into his hand for him to feel her words. When he came aboard the plane he had been assigned the middle seat of my row. The kind gentleman who had the aisle seat graciously gave it up for him. At this point Tim was traveling alone. The flight attendants sincerely wanted to assist him, but had no way to communicate. I watched as they didn't flinch when he reached out to touch their faces and arms. They took his hand and tried so hard to communicate with him, to no avail. He had some verbal ability, but clearly could not understand them. The man who had given up his seat did his best to assist him with things like opening coffee creamer and putting it in his coffee. When Tim made the attempt to stand up and feel his way to the restroom, his seat mate immediately was up to help him. The flight attendants were talking among themselves and someone suggested paging to see if anyone on board knew sign language. That's when this lovely young woman came into the picture. 15 years old, she learned ASL because she had dyslexia and it was the easiest foreign language for her to learn..."
The rest of the story is at Lynette Scribner's Facebook post, via the StarTribune.


  1. “How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a weary world.”

  2. I realize this is supposed to be a feel good story and I'm glad he was lucky enough that there was someone on board who could help this man. BUT I really kind of wonder that his sister didn't make some sort of effort to ensure he could communicate with people though -- maybe a sheet of paper with braille he could read next to a typed out translation he could have pointed to -- or SOMETHING! Or even a sheet of paper to hand to the flight attendants that would illustrate hand signs that he might use to indicate different needs. And, lastly, did anyone else find it just a bit creepy that he asked if the girl who spent her whole flight helping him if she was pretty?


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