A 7-year-old’s allergic reaction to onboard pets led to a sad outcome on a commercial airliner, and a trove of bitter memories with his dying dad who currently battles stage 4 cancer.
Because the reaction prevented the airplane from taking off, the boy and his family were politely asked to get off. But what shocked the entire family was the lack of empathy coming from other air travelers who burst into applause.
Christina Fabian, the boy’s mother, recounted the ordeal. She said in an interview that she, her son Giovanni, and the boy’s father Alvarado were on Flight 171 trying to get home to Phoenix. The family planned to spend quality time with Alvarado who was diagnosed with final stage throat cancer and was sent home.
But before the airplane’s departure, Giovanni had an allergic reaction to the pets on the plane. He started scratching, developed hives, so his parents had to tell plane staffers that they had a problem.
One flight attendant told them that the allergy might be triggered by the dogs on the flight. Surprisingly, the flight attendant delivered the news with a smirk.
Since the allergic reaction kept the entire plane grounded, the trio was asked to leave and board another plane. The family was cooperative but Fabian couldn’t grasp why passengers in the back started to clap as they were gathering their stuff.
The applause had a crushing effect on the boy who was already struggling with depression over his dad’s condition.
“People who don’t have sadness, they don’t understand,”
the 7-year-old said.
And the passengers couldn’t understand because no one knew the burden this child had in his chest. The family had just performed a bucket-list trip to Bellingham and they were heading home. The boy told reporters that his dad had terminal cancer, and that the trip was an occasion to gather some good family memories.
Giovanni also said that he was saddened that he had to add such experience to the list of memories with his dying dad. His dad said he felt helpless when he heard the crowd clapping. He shook his head and rushed his family to deboard.
But Alvarado tried to turn the horrible experience into a something the entire family could learn from. While they were waiting for the next flight, Alvarado told his son to be nice to people despite their behavior. He noted that no one knows why some people decide to hurt other people.
The airliner involved in the story, Allegiant, reportedly contacted Alvarado to apologize for the inconvenience.
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