Many people have a common fear of flying and suffer panic attacks as a result. Often it’s just harmless nerves however the fear can manifest itself physically.
There are of course certain medications you can take if you are an adult but it’s difficult to know what to do if a child experiences a panic attack mid air.
When Erika Jeorgean Swart boarded a plane with her three children, she was totally unprepared by her 9-year-old daughter’s reaction after they took off into the air. Gabby started to become very anxious about the trip from Orlando to Newark, which confused mom. She had flown before as a little girl, so Erika was quite surprised when her daughter suddenly developed a fear of flying!
The concerned mom sat with two of her children next to her and her oldest Gabby was sitting across the aisle.
Since there was a lot of turbulence during the flight, Gabby was having a difficulty relaxing and mom could see the fear and panic in her eyes. Gabby, who is a Type-1 diabetic, was trying her best to remain calm, but it clearly wasn’t working. Unfortunately, it was starting to make her blood sugar levels crash.
Erika’s husband wasn’t with her on this trip, and she had her hands full trying to make sure all three of her children behaved themselves. As she held her daughter’s hand across the aisle, feeling helpless, but then a flight attendant named Garrett appeared out of nowhere and handed Gabby a “special drink” to keep her quiet.
However, the outspoken mom was not one for keeping quiet so she wrote a lengthy post on Southwest Airline’s Facebook page to let them know what one of their employees was up to:
Erika Jeorgean Swart in a Facebook post to Southwest Airlines: “Throughout the flight he tried making her laugh and (was) bringing her special drinks.”
Erika was so impressed by the Southwest Airlines’ employee by the way he helped calm her daughter down she praised his actions on Facebook.
“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. 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.”
Erika continues on her Facebook post:
“Once on the ground while taxiing to the gate he came on the intercom and announced that his friend, Gabby, in the front row overcame her fears of flying and asked for a round of applause. The whole plane clapped for her. It was a wonderful experience on Southwest. We are forever grateful to have met such a beautiful, selfless soul.”
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