Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Travel Day, 2nd Half

My flight out of Miami was scheduled to leave at 7:20 pm. Around the time we should have started boarding the plane, someone came on the intercom to explain that we were in "decision time" and they would let us know when a decision had been made. Twenty minutes later we were told our flight was delayed for an hour.

Around 8pm we boarded the plane. As soon as everyone was settled, the pilot announced that we were still not cleared to fly into Chicago. He was optimistic, though, and wanted us in our seats ready to go so we could take off as soon as Chicago gave us the all clear signal. I had woken up at 5am and didn't have anyone sitting next to me on the plane. I decided a nap was in order. At 9pm I was startled awake by the pilot's second announcement: Our flight had officially been delayed another 55 minutes due to nasty weather in Chicago. I borrowed a cell phone to call my mom (who was already at Portage) to say I was still in Miami. She went to my brother's apartment to hang out for a little while, and I went back to sleep.

Finally a few minutes before 10pm, our plane started taxing down the runway. I was back to sleep before we reached our maximum cruising altitude. However, my nap didn't last long. About 20 minutes in the air, I heard what sounded like a child's scream. I was groggy and assumed someone's child was being unruly. However, the second time I heard the scream it was followed by a mother's call for help. Her teenage daughter was having a seizure. Two medical professionals jumped out of their seats and came to the girl's aid. The entire plan was silent and watching. After the seizure ended and the girl became coherent again, it was clear she was going to be okay. I was afraid they would turn the plane around and go back to Miami, but we kept on toward Chicago. Eventually sleep overcame me and I was able to sleep almost the entire way to Chicago. 

When we reached Chicago a few minutes past 1am, we had to wait a few minutes on the tarmac. First we waited for the tunnel to be connected to the plane. Then the girl who had the seizure had to get off the plane with the paramedics, but they let her walk herself off. I saw her later at the baggage area and she looked perfectly fine. I'm fairly certain her sister said she'd had seizures before, so I don't think it was new experience for their family. I still felt bad for them though.

Eventually I found my bag, and just as I was getting ready to ask a stranger to use a cellphone I spotted my mom. We loaded up the car and headed for Indiana. After a slight detour to get me something to eat and a missed exit for the Skyway, we arrived safely in Middlebury just before 5am on Tuesday morning. It was a very long day of travel, but I made it safely and that's what is important.

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