B6 Pax Did A Beautiful Thing For MCO Shooting Victim’s Grandma

Open Jaw

After a gunman shot and killed 49 people and injured 53 at a gay club in Orlando last weekend, friends and family of the victims and survivors rushed to Florida to be closer to their loved ones.

When JetBlue flight attendant Kelly Davis Karas found out that the grandmother of shooting victim Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo was a passenger on her flight Tuesday, she decided to do everything she could to make the woman comfortable — but ended up doing much more.

"Today my dear friend Melinda and I had the sad privilege of attending to his grandmother on our flight as she made her journey to Orlando to join her family during this unspeakable time," Karas wrote in a Facebook post. "Knowing she was making this hard journey alone, JetBlue employees made sure to be at her side every step of the way."

"Melinda stood quietly by her wheelchair while we waited until it was time to board," she continued. "Kellie, the gate agent, boarded with her and helped get her settled. Melinda and I gave her a blanket, a pillow, a box of tissues and water so she could be as comfortable as possible. She was understandably distraught, but met us with kindness and gentleness. And gratitude."

After the flight took off, Karas got the idea to pass around a piece of paper to pax, hoping to compile a few sweet messages to give to the woman. Instead, she reports, everyone on the flight ended up going above and beyond.

"When we gathered them together to present them to her, we didn't have just a sheet of paper covered in names, which is what I had envisioned. Instead, we had page after page after page after page of long messages offering condolences, peace, love and support. There were even a couple of cash donations, and more than a few tears."

At the end of the flight, with the woman's permission, a moment of silence was offered in honour of Ocasio-Capo. When they began deplaning, Karas says, every passenger stopped to give the woman their condolences.

"Some just said they were sorry, some touched her hand, some hugged her, some cried with her," Karas wrote. "But every single person stopped to speak to her, and not a single person was impatient at the slower deplaning process."

"I am moved to tears yet again as I struggle to put our experience into words," she continued. "In spite of a few hateful, broken human beings in this world who can all too easily legally get their hands on mass assault weapons — people ARE kind. People DO care.

“And through our customers' humanity today, and through the generosity of this wonderful company I am so grateful to work for, I am hopeful that someday soon we can rally together to make the world a safer place for all.”

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