Passengers and airline crew members honored the grandmother of one of the youngest victims in the Orlando nightclub shooting when she was aboard a JetBlue flight to the city on Tuesday.
JetBlue flight attendant Kelly Davis Karas of Maine took to Facebook that day to describe the outpouring of support for the woman, a grandmother of 20-year-old Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo. She flew to Orlando to join her family two days after his death.
Karas’ friend and co-worker Melinda Sloop Winstead attended to the grieving woman as she made her journey to Florida, according to Karas’ post.
“Knowing she was making this hard journey alone, JetBlue employees made sure to be at her side every step of the way,” Karas wrote. “Melinda stood quietly by her wheelchair while we waited until it was time to board. Kellie, the gate agent, boarded with her and helped get her settled. Melinda and I gave her a blanket, a pillow, a box of tissues and water so she could be as comfortable as possible. She was understandably distraught, but met us with kindness and gentleness. And gratitude.”
While taking beverage orders, Karas began passing around sheets of paper, inviting other passengers to sign their names, with the idea that she would give the pages to Ocasio-Capo’s grandmother, whom Karas did not name.
“When we gathered them together to present them to her, we didn’t have just a sheet of paper covered in names, which is what I had envisioned,” Karas wrote on Facebook. “Instead, we had page after page after page after page of long messages offering condolences, peace, love and support. There were even a couple of cash donations, and more than a few tears.”
In her post, Karas concluded, “I am moved to tears yet again as I struggle to put our experience into words. In spite of a few hateful, broken human beings in this world who can all too easily legally get their hands on mass assault weapons - people ARE kind. People DO care. And through our customers’ humanity today, and through the generosity of this wonderful company I am so grateful to work for, I am hopeful that someday soon we can rally together to make the world a safer place for all.”
“I will never forget today. #Orlandoproud”
After landing, Karas announced over the loudspeakers that “JetBlue stands with Orlando” and, with the grandmother’s permission, offered a moment of silence in Ocasio-Capo’s memory. As they deplaned, every person aboard the flight stopped to offer their condolences, Karas wrote.
Karas did not respond to ABC News’ request for comment.