The father of the boy who was kicked off a plane due to allergies died. He was suffering from cancer and the trip during which they were herded off the plane was supposed to be the family’s last trip together.
The father of a child, who captured the attention of the internet after he and his family were asked to get off the plane, died after fighting a losing battle with esophageal cancer. The family was asked to leave the plane because of an allergic reaction the boy had suffered due to the presence of dogs. To add salt to the injury, some of the passengers actually clapped when the family was being escorted off the plane. The jeering was quite humiliating and painful to the family; however, the ridicule doesn’t compare to the tragedy that struck the family.
Jorge Alvarado, 48, had been fighting cancer when he and his family boarded a flight from Washington to Arizona. The February 24 flight, operated by Allegiant Air, was meant to depart from Bellingham, Washington, to Mesa, Arizona. However, the flight did not depart on time because of the family. Apparently, young Giovanni Alvarado had begun to feel itchy. Soon his family realized he was suffering because of a dog on board. Seven-year-old Giovanni began to feel really uncomfortable, shared the boy’s mother,
“We were on Flight 171. He began to get very itchy and he was scratching all over. He started to get hives, so we informed the flight attendant who informed us that there are dogs on every flight and just smirked, which minimized his experience for me.”
The family from Phoenix was returning home and the flight was troublesome in more ways than one. While the staff wasn’t rude towards the boy’s plight, some of the passengers were. And when the family was asked to deboard the plane, quite a few actually applauded while the family was being escorted to the exit, adding salt to the injury, reported 13 WMAZ. However, throughout the ordeal, the father of the boy showed remarkable calmness, shared his wife Christina Fabian,
“I hoped the calm and quiet way my husband handled the situation could be an example to others to be kind. He was kind to the core — he didn’t have an angry bone in his body. It just hurt him to not be able to protect Giovanni from that.”
— KING 5 News (@KING5Seattle) February 24, 2016
She painfully noted that the trip to visit their family was the last one. The passengers didn’t know that the family’s “bucket list” trip to the Northwest had been taken to build memories as Alvarado fought his fatal illness, reported USA Today.
“It was our last trip. I wish everything had gone smoothly for him and for Giovanni.”
Despite the painful experience that the family went through back in February and is struggling through right now, Fabian hopes her story will invoke a sense of responsibility in the people who are too quick to judge. While the family was trying to attend to their kid who was clearly suffering, the co-passengers were merely concerned about the delay, and invariably the family ended up being the target of their spiteful conversations,
“We were quietly sitting in the back of the plane and were listening to people talk around us. I hope the next time they act out and they think of him and his experience and they don’t subject someone else to that.”
— News 19 WLTX (@WLTX) March 25, 2016
— Healthy World (@HealthyWrld) February 27, 2016
The airline had released a statement regarding the eviction of the family, saying a doctor had recommended the family to deboard, reported ABC News.
“The safety of our passengers is our most important priority regardless of the circumstances. We are sorry for the circumstances under which this family was traveling, and we regret that this family had a negative experience and that they were inconvenienced. We worked diligently with the family to get them on the next available flight and get them safely to their destination as soon as possible.”
Fabian notes that upon returning from the delayed plane ride, the boy’s father wished that no one would feel sorry for him. He only wanted the experience to serve as a reminder to “have respect for others because you never know what someone is going through.”
[Photo by David Becker/AP Images]