Flight Attendant Helps Little Girl Overcome Flying Phobia

| by Jonathan Constante

A Southwest flight attendant is being praised for reportedly helping a little girl overcome her fear of flying.

Erika Swart was flying from Orlando, Florida to Newark, New Jersey, with her 9-year-old daughter Gabby and two other children, Fox 32 reported.

Gabby has type 1 diabetes, and "severe flying anxiety," Swart wrote in a Facebook post to Southwest Airlines on July 9. A flight attendant by the name of Garrick reportedly noticed that Gabby was afraid and decided to help out.

"Upon take off he noticed she was struggling," Swart recalled in the Facebook post. "Throughout the flight he tried making her laugh and bringing her special drinks.

“As we were getting closer weather was rough and there was a bit of turbulence. Gabby began having a complete panic attack on descent. He came up to the front and asked if she would like for him to sit next to her in the empty seat.”

As turbulence grew worse, Garrick continued to work his magic.

“He suggested they talk to distract her from thinking about the landing so they talked for around 30 minutes about everything from his daughter who is the same age to her pets to what grade she is going into,” Swart explained. “During extremely rough turbulence she began crying and grabbed his arm, he gently told her she could hang on as long as she needed to.

“Just after this due to the extreme stress she was under her blood sugars began dangerously crashing. He got up from his seat to get her an orange juice and came right back to sit with her. She asked again if she could continue to hold his arm while the plane was landing. He of course agreed.”

When the plane landed, Garrick reportedly got on the PA system and congratulated Gabby on overcoming her fear of flying.

“The whole plane clapped for her,” Swart wrote. “It was a wonderful experience on Southwest. We are forever grateful to have met such a beautiful, selfless soul.”

The Facebook post was shared more than 3,000 times and liked over 40,000 times in five days.

Sources: Fox 32, Facebook / Photo Credit: Erika Swart/Facebook

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