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The Internet Is Calling Out Delta Airlines For Damaging This Woman’s Wheelchair And Making Her Cry (18 Pics)

 Those who frequently travel by plane know that it’s best to keep your precious things on yourself and try not to put them in the registered luggage. It’s no secret that airport workers aren’t super careful with the suitcases and you can see evidence of that when they come back with scuffs on the sides.

But a suitcase with a few scratches is nothing compared to what Gabrielle deFiebre had to deal with. To move, she needs a wheelchair, but she can’t go on a plane with it and it gets taken to the cargo area. This time, when it came back, the wheel was all warped and that brought the woman to tears. The TikTok video capturing her reaction when she realized her only way of mobility was taken from her was watched 16.1 million times and people were furious for Gabrielle.

Gabrielle, who has transverse myelitis, is always anxious to travel by plane because she never knows if her wheelchair will come back in one piece

Image credits: geeg_d

Gabrielle deFiebre is Director of Research and Programs at Siegel Rare Neuroimmune Association from New York. She has transverse myelitis, which is a neurological disorder which inflames the spinal cord across its width (‘transverse’), destroying the fatty substance that protects nerve cells. It can lead to paralysis and that is what happened to Gabrielle, which is why she needs the wheelchair.

Her wheelchair is custom made for her, according to her measurements, and her wheels are a high-tech, power-assist pair with a motor because she has limited hand function on one side and no function on the other.

Image credits: briscalesse

Wheelchairs get mishandled on planes every day and the one made specifically for Gabrielle got damaged on a flight going on a girls’ trip to Phoenix

Image credits: briscalesse

Traveling by plane is always a nerve-wracking experience for Gabrielle as she knows that so many disabled people get their wheelchairs damaged. But she still went on a girls’ trip to Phoenix because fears shouldn’t control your life.

She was worried not only because she couldn’t use a manual wheelchair if hers got damaged, but because for a disabled person, their wheelchair is an extension of their body. It’s the thing that makes them independent and enables them to move.

Gabrielle’s friend filmed her reaction when she realized her only way of living an independent life was taken from her

So, when she landed in Phoenix and realized her wheelchair was damaged, Gabrielle couldn’t control her tears. Her friend Bri filmed this reaction and the video was watched over 16 million times. People were sharing similar experiences and tagging Delta Airlines so they would compensate Gabrielle because, like she was saying in the video, the wheelchair is her life, the thing that enables her to live her life.

Image credits: briscalesse

Thanks to the amazing disabled community, Gabrielle was able to have a wonderful trip as someone lent her the exact same wheels as hers were

Image credits: geeg_d

Later, Bri uploaded an update video in which they both thanked people for the support and solidarity. Gabrielle informed the viewers that Delta Airlines promised to replace the warped wheel.

Also, the trip wasn’t a complete fail as Gabrielle found a person who had the same wheelchair as hers and lent it to her for the stay in Phoenix. She managed to enjoy the city despite the unfortunate start in the airport.

In an update video, Gabrielle said that Delta Airlines will pay for the replacement of the damaged wheel

Image credits: briscalesse

Here is the video that touched millions of people’s hearts

@briscalesseWhen is this going to stop? ##fyp ##disabilitiyawareness ##wheelchair @geeg_def♬ original sound – briscalesse

Video credits: briscalesse

It appears that wheelchairs get damaged on planes all the time. According to the Air Travel Customer report, which included several airlines, only in the month of March 2021, out of the 27,695 wheelchairs and scooters that have been on planes, 310 were mishandled.

Even though it seems like an everyday occurrence, it shouldn’t be looked at as normal. This story brings awareness to what challenges the disabled community has to face when traveling and hopefully this story will encourage companies to implement some changes.

The video got nearly 60k comments in which people were tagging Delta Airlines to fix the situation and were sharing similar experiences

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