He Couldn't Communicate With Flight Attendants. Enter 'Angel'

'Angel' teen Clara Daly helped blind, deaf man on Alaska Airlines
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 25, 2018 7:21 AM CDT
In this Jan. 26, 2016, file photo, an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-800 takes off at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Seattle.   (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

(Newser) – "We are all starving for good news and this was just what we needed." Those are the words of Alaska Airlines passenger Lynette Scribner on Facebook after she witnessed a touching interaction between a young teen and a blind and deaf man on a recent flight. All three were on a plane headed from Boston to Portland, Ore., when Scribner noticed 64-year-old Tim Cook struggling to communicate with flight attendants, though they were desperately trying to do so, per the New York Times. "They didn't flinch when he reached out to touch their faces and arms," she writes in her Facebook post. "They took his hand and tried so hard ... to no avail." They asked other passengers if anyone knew American Sign Language, and that's when 15-year-old Clara Daly entered the picture.

The first question Clara—who KGW-TV notes had taken ASL as a second language to help with her dyslexia—asked Cook by sign-spelling into his hand was "How are you?" The two conversed and laughed throughout the flight, and Scribner tells the Times she could see "his frustration was greatly reduced" thanks to Clara's efforts. Scribner adds others on the flight also assisted (one passenger put creamer in Cook's coffee, another helped him get to the restroom) and that "it was a beautiful reminder, in this time of too much awfulness, that there are still good, good people who are willing to look out for each other." In an Alaska Airlines blog post, a flight attendant calls Clara "an angel," per CNN. As for Cook, who lost his sight and hearing as an adult, he tells KGW it was the best flight he'd ever taken, adding, "Maybe it was meant to be." (A Starbucks worker went above and beyond for a deaf customer.)

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