The father of a boy who became the talk of the Internet after the boy was forced to leave a plane due to an allergic reaction has died after a battle with esophageal cancer, his family said.
Jorge Alvarado, 48, was battling cancer when he and his family attempted to fly out from Washington to Arizona in February. However, a dog on the flight lead to their son, Giovanni Alvarado, having an allergic reaction, and after a delay, the family said they eventually were told to exit the plane. As they did so, they say some other passengers clapped their exit.
Christina Fabian, Alvarado's wife, said she hoped the calm and quiet way her husband handled the situation could be an example to others to be kind. Her husband died on Thursday, she said.
"He was kind to the core -- he didn’t have an angry bone in his body," she told ABC News today. "It just hurt him to not be able to protect Giovanni from that."
The family was flying on Allegiant Air after a visit with family when they were forced to leave the plane due to Giovanni's allergy attack. Fabian said that was the last family trip.
"It was our last trip," Fabian told ABC News. "I wish everything had gone smoothly for him and for Giovanni"
Fabian said in spite of the pain her family felt listening to other passengers talk about them, she hopes their story will make others take a minute before making assumptions.
"We were quietly sitting in the back of the plane and were listening to people talk around us," Fabian recalled. "I hope the next time they act out and they think of him and his experience and they don’t subject someone else to that."
In statement from Allegiant sent to ABC News, the company said its staff worked diligently to get the family on the following flight and that they followed the advice of a doctor in removing Giovanni from the plane.
"While Allegiant sympathizes with the family over the loss of Mr. Jorge Alvarado, Allegiant stands by the decision to remove the passenger from our aircraft to ensure his safety," the company said. "We followed the advice of our on-call medical doctor by not allowing the child to continue on the flight following an allergic reaction to a service animal on board. ... We are sorry for the circumstances under which this family was traveling, and we regret that this family had a negative experience and that they were inconvenienced."
Fabian said the family received messages of support and comfort after their story made headlines last month. She said that getting that support helped the family as Alvarado's health deteriorated over the last few weeks.
"From all over the world, we’ve heard messages from Taiwan, Mexico, Dominican Republic and China," Fabian said. "It was beautiful because one of the things he wanted was to make a difference. ... He did that."