Clara Daly began her day ready to board a cross-country flight from Boston to Los Angeles, but the 15-year-old quickly became the subject of praise for an incredible act of kindness aboard the Alaska Airlines flight. Daly was able to use sign language to communicate with a blind and deaf passenger who was aboard the flight after flight attendants were unable to communicate with him.
A flight attendant asked passengers on the plane whether anyone knew sign language in a message over the plane’s intercom system when Daly rang the call button and volunteered to help.
Daly had been studying sign language for less than a year but was still ready to help.
The passenger, Tim Cook, was traveling along after visiting his sister in Boston. As Clara attempted to see if Cook needed anything, she began using fingerspelling which is signing every individual letter into his hand.
“He didn’t need anything. He was just lonely and wanted to talk,” Clara said, via WSFA.com.
Clara began studying sign language because of her dyslexia.
“English is already a hard language for me,” she added. “I saw sign language as a way to communicate without having to read and write… Doing something like that is just what anyone would have done.”
Clara visited Cook during the flight a total of three times; taking him water, letting him know the time, and simply keeping him company.
“I went to [Cook] a total of three times, once to get him water, another to tell him the time, and the last hour of the flight to just talk to him,” Clara said, via CNN. “We talked about our family in Massachusetts and he asked me about my plans for my future.”
Alaska Airlines described Clara as “an angel” and added, “[Cook] was very excited to have someone he could speak to.”
Once the plane arrived in Portland for its layover, Cook, who is the resident of a senior living community in the area, was met by a service provider for the facility at his gate.
As Clara says, this is something we should all learn from: “I hope this helps other people realize that in the world we are living in, it is everyone’s duty to help each other out, no matter what.”