ORLANDO, Fla. (MEDIA GENERAL) – A flight attendant’s touching experience on a recent JetBlue flight to Orlando is warming hearts across the nation.
The grandmother of Orlando nightclub shooting victim Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo was on Kelly Karas’ flight as she traveled to Florida to attend his funeral.
Ocasio-Capo, 20, was among the 49 people shot and killed inside Pulse Nightclub during the early morning hours last Sunday.
Karas says she and co-worker Melinda Winstead helped his grandmother board and made sure she was settled, giving her a blanket, a pillow, a box of tissues, according to a Facebook post.
She writes she then had an idea to pass around a piece of paper, inviting everyone on board to sign it for the grieving grandmother.
Winstead helped and what happened in the minutes that followed is truly remarkable. The crew members needed more paper, and the one hour and 15 minute flight almost wasn’t long enough as passengers were writing paragraphs of condolences.
“When we gathered them together to present them to her, we didn’t have just a sheet of paper covered in names, which is what I had envisioned,” Kasas recalled. “Instead, we had page after page after page after page of long messages offering condolences, peace, love and support. There were even a couple of cash donations, and more than a few tears.”
After the plane landed, JetBlue offered a moment of silence in Ocasio-Capo’s memory.
And as passengers deplaned, every single person stopped to offer his grandmother condolences.
“Some just said they were sorry, some touched her hand, some hugged her, some cried with her. But every single person stopped to speak to her, and not a single person was impatient at the slower deplaning process,” Karas said.
She continued, “In spite of a few hateful, broken human beings in this world who can all too easily legally get their hands on mass assault weapons – people ARE kind. People DO care. And through our customers’ humanity today, and through the generosity of this wonderful company I am so grateful to work for, I am hopeful that someday soon we can rally together to make the world a safer place for all.”
By midday Thursday, less than 48 hours since it was posted, Karas’ Facebook post had been shared more than 77,000 times.