Lynette Scribner was a passenger in an Alaska Airlines flight that was flying from Boston to Portland last week when she witnessed a heart-warming act of compassion and maturity that has also captured the hearts of netizens thanks to Scribner’s Facebook post and the photos that she shared after the flight.
Beside Scribner was another passenger named Tim Cook who was getting restless at some point during the flight. The flight attendants were very accommodating and helpful but they just had one problem – they couldn’t communicate properly with Mr. Cook because he was deaf and blind and none of them knew sign language.
That’s when the crew put out a call for any passenger who knew ASL and fortunately for all, a fifteen-year-old named Clara Daly answered the call. She was dyslexic and she took ASL for a year because it was the easiest foreign language for her to pick up.
With a maturity that belied her young age, Clara patiently attended to Mr. Cook’s needs. The reason he was getting restless was that he wanted a glass of water.
Clara went back to her seat but with three hours left in the flight, a flight attendant told her that Mr. Cook was calling for her again and she gladly went to him. She asked him how he was and just made sure he was okay.
By the third time she had returned to her seat, the flight attendant again said that Mr. Cook was asking for her. The attendant said that Mr. Cook looked a little lonely and probably just wanted someone to talk to. With nary a complaint, Clara spent the last hour of the flight with Mr. Cook just talking about life by signing into his hand.
Mr. Cook told Clara about his sister and the fact that he used to be a traveling salesman before he lost his sight and hearing. It was a tremendous display of compassion and empathy by Clara considering that she patiently communicated with Mr. Cook despite her having to stay on the aisle the whole time.
They even got comfortable enough for Mr. Cook to jokingly ask if Clara was pretty. And even as Clara blushed, another seatmate who also knew a bit of sign language enthusiastically signed “yes” into Mr. Cook’s hand.
On the other hand, it’s understandable why Mr. Cook would cling to her like a lifeline. After all, he was alone and cut off from the rest of the world except through the sense of touch. So to have someone able to communicate through that sense must have been priceless to him.
Scribner’s post gained almost 1 million likes in a short amount of time. But the greatest praise that Clara could get was from the very man she helped. In an interview with Portland TV station KGW8, Mr. Cook simply said: “She’s an angel.”
Clara, on the other hand, doesn’t see herself as having done anything special. “They call you extraordinary but it’s just something that you do. He took such joy in a conversation that we take for granted, “ she said.
Such a down-to-earth attitude only proves that she is really a good person at heart and epitomizes the very word that Mr. Cook used to describe her. Clara’s mother Jane, who was also with her daughter during the flight, could never be more proud.