Some of us like to fly. Others dread it. But for Shantell Pooser, a seventeen-year-old from South Carolina who has down syndrome and a range of cardio-pulmonary health issues, flying back and forth to Ohio for surgeries and treatments is life-saving.
It’s also her favorite thing in the world. Flying high is part of her spirit and she’s become fast friends with the pilots and flight attendants who frequently work the route between her home and the hospital in Cincinnati.
So, when Shantell told her mom that she wanted to be a flight attendant as part of a short ‘bucket list,’ she reached out to a friend who works for American Airlines. Everyone knows that frequent flyers get some sweet benefits, but Shantell’s near-constant flights to Ohio and back got her more than a bag of peanuts. They got her a job.
American Airlines threw Shantell a birthday party in the first-class cabin and gave her a uniform and a name badge. Whenever she flies, Shantell now helps the crew with safety demonstrations and all the other routine tasks before settling in for her flight. And she certainly has the personality for it.
In fact, when doctors recently questioned whether she would have the ability to talk after a particularly difficult surgery, Shantell quickly and loudly answered their concerns — by bursting into song as soon as the anesthesia wore off.
Shantell, congratulations on your wings 💙