A teen girl helped a blind, deaf man communicate on a recent Alaska Airlines flight.
Dianne McGinness with Alaska Airlines shared the heartwarming story after a passenger on the flight wrote a post this week about the interaction that was shared over 400,000 times.
The passenger, Lynette Scribner, was traveling on the same flight as the teen and man, and was moved to write a post on the touching encounter.
Scribner said the man, Tim Cook, was traveling home to Portland after visiting his sister. Cook lives at Portland's Brookdale Senior Living.
When passengers of the flight realized Cook was blind and deaf, many helped ensure he was comfortable. A man sitting next to Cook gave him the aisle seat and helped with little tasks like opening his coffee creamer and pouring it into his coffee, Scribner shared.
A flight attendant made an announcement asking if a passenger on board knew American Sign Language. Fifteen-year-old Clara Daly, who has studied ASL for the last year, rang her call button.
When Daly learned the man could communicate only if someone signed into his hand, she immediately went to help.
Cook asked Daly questions and she patiently sign-spelled answers into his hand.
Scribner said Daly learned ASL because she has dyslexia and it was the easiest foreign language for her to learn.
“Clara was amazing,” an Alaska Airlines flight attendant said in the news release. “You could tell Tim was very excited to have someone he could speak to -- and she was such an angel.”
"When (Cook) asked (Daly) if she was pretty, she blushed and laughed as the seat mate, who had learned a few signs, communicated an enthusiastic yes to Tim," Scribner shared. "I don't know when I've ever 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."
After the flight, McGinness said Cook met a service provider from Brookdale Senior Living at the gate.
Cook said the flight was the best trip he's ever taken.
Daly told her mom she thought the encounter was "meant to be," since her original flight was canceled and she was redirected to Cook's flight.
On Thursday, Scribner added a note on her beloved post: "We are all starving for good news and this was just what we needed."
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