A Jewish couple is suing Southwest Airlines, saying their daughter is severely disabled after being ejected from her wheelchair while boarding a flight heading from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, to Denver, Colorado, last winter.
Gabby Assouline, 25, was born with a condition that makes it difficult for her to walk long distances. She was otherwise fully functional – until this incident anyway, the lawsuit states.
The family says that as Gabby traversed the bridge leading from the terminal to the plane, her wheelchair got caught, causing her to be thrown from the wheelchair and resulting in injuries that have left her a quadriplegic and on a ventilator.
Gabby’s mother says she accompanied her daughter to the gate after special accommodations were made due to Gabby’s disability.
“The next thing I got was a call [saying] my daughter was involved in an accident and she broke her neck,” she said.
“I got a call from the officer at the scene that she had suffered a devastating fall in the airport and was being rushed to the Intensive Care Unit. Nothing could prepare me for seeing my daughter in that hospital bed, unconscious, with that many tubes attached to her, helping stabilize her. Throughout that first week, we pieced together parts of what happened. Gaby fell on her head, fractured her C2 vertebrae, resulting in a severe spinal cord injury. She had a cardiac arrest and had to be intubated immediately after being resuscitated,” a GoFundMe page set up by the family states.
“She’s currently presenting as a quadriplegic who is on a ventilator.
“She can’t speak because has a tube down her throat, and she has no movement below her neck. The fear and pain she is showing in her eyes when she wakes up in those brief moments of clarity is too much to bear. She remains in the hospital. Since her injury, she has developed an arrhythmia that has caused her heart to stop half a dozen times in a week. It’s been almost three weeks and there is no timeline for how long she will be here or what her journey looks like after. Every day, a new complication arises.”
(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)