A mother’s planned United Airlines flight to Texas last week turned into an absolute nightmare as she held her limp infant in her arms, wondering if these were the last moments of his life. It was yet another horror story about an airlines that has had repeated complaints lobbied against them since a doctor was dragged bleeding off an overbooked flight in April.
39-year-old Emily France was flying from Denver to El Paso, Texas, to be with her husband when the United plane she was on got delayed for bad weather. With temperatures rising in the plane during Thursday’s heatwave, and with hot air blasting out of the passenger compartment’s vents, Emily’s 4-month-old Owen began to overheat, according to the Denver Post.
“We just sat and sat and sat. I hit my call button and said, ‘I think it’s getting dangerously hot back here,'” she related.
Flight attendants brought ice packs for Owen and even let Emily leave the plane with him to cool off. But after they were brought back onboard, the flight got delayed again, resulting in a combined two hours of delays on the tarmac. That’s when the flight crew let Emily stand by the open airplane door to give Owen more ventilation. But with temperatures around 90 outside, it wasn’t enough.
Emily explained, “His whole body flashed red and his eyes rolled back in his head and he was screaming. And then he went limp in my arms. It was the worst moment of my life.”
She said there seemed to be confusion amidst the flight crew about what to do next. Finally, an ambulance arrived to take Owen to the hospital. He’s now recovering at home and does not appear to have any long-term health effects from the medical episode.
Of the United flight crew, Emily says, “They seemed completely unprepared for a medical emergency. They were not equipped to handle it. They couldn’t evacuate us. It was chaos. I really thought my son was going to die in my arms.”
According to CNBC, United Airlines released a statement after the incident saying, "This should never have happened. We are profoundly sorry to our customer and her child for the experience they endured. We are actively looking into what happened to prevent this from occurring again."
But they added, “Medical care was provided to the child within 16 minutes of the Captain’s call for paramedics.”
Inside Edition reported on the incident in the video below:
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