Sometimes all one needs is a bit of kindness. A California teen helped a deaf-blind man on the plane communicate with the crew using sign language. She then remained with him to talk, and it was the sweetest thing ever.
15-year-old Clara Daly was flying home with her mother Jane. Their flight to LA got cancelled, and the airline put them on a connecting flight with a layover in Portland. They were frustrated at first, but Clara later told her mother that it was meant to be.
Timothy Cook was on the same flight from Boston. He had been visiting his sister and was returning to Portland alone. The man is deaf and blind, so he felt completely isolated.
The flight attendants wanted to help but couldn’t find a way to communicate with Tim. So, they asked the passengers if anyone knew American sign language and could translate. That’s when Clara stepped in.
The girl took Tim’s hands and fingerspelled letter after letter into his palms. He asked for water and the time, and then the two just chatted. Not without some funny moments, too. For example, when Tim asked Clara if she was pretty.
“She blushed and laughed as the seat mate, who had learned a few signs, communicated an enthusiastic yes to Tim,” another passenger shared.
Their conversation cheered Tim up and lifted the spirits of other travelers. “All of us in the immediate rows were laughing and smiling and enjoying his obvious delight in having someone to talk to,” the passenger said.
The girl had learned sign language at school. She chose it because of her dyslexia which made studying foreign languages especially difficult. She was the only person on board the plane who could assist the man. Talk about disadvantages turning into the biggest strengths.
Clara’s mother shared the story and the photos online adding, “She’ll probably kill me for posting this, but – Proud of my girl.”
And she has every right to be.
Featured Image: Jane Daly