Wednesday, December 4, 2013

MY SEASON OF GRATITUDE: November 15, 2013

Today I am grateful that at the age of 53, insomnia, the all-to-common affliction of the middle-aged, is not even on my radar! What was scheduled to be a typical Houston to Lagos flight of just under 11 hours duration took decidedly longer today.

Shortly after we completed the first component of service in the main cabin, a very pregnant lady appeared, in distress. We paged for anyone onboard with medical training and were fortunate to have several qualified responders. After a lengthy assessment and consultation with the captain and company headquarters, the decision was made to land in Miami for the welfare of both mother and child.

During our Miami approach, details of the lady's situation were revealed: she was being deported after arriving in the US from Nigeria just one day before, via Europe. Seems it had been determined that she was in America under false pretenses, which invalidated her visa. Her pretense? To give birth to a citizen of the United States, as all children born on US soil would be, regardless of parentage. Her determination was impressive.

The irony of the developing situation was lost on no one: the coincidentally "emergent" nature of her medical complaints in view of the fact that her deportation would sabotage her plan to give birth in the US. Dumping 64,000 pounds of fuel (approximately $40,000 worth) to make the 787 light enough to land safely and diverting to Miami, we, all onboard, played a role in helping her to successfully complete her mission.

I suspect that before we landed in Lagos some 9 1/2 hours after our Miami stop, the United States' newest citizen born of a foreign mother had arrived...

As planned.

Where does the "silver lining-seeker" find gratification in such a tale?


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