This Teen Helping A Blind, Deaf Plane Passenger Will Make You Hug Your Computer Screen

A California teen is making all-too-rarifying positive headlines everywhere, thanks to her small act of kindness for a stranger last week.

Clara Daly was apparently in the process of flying back to Los Angeles with her mom, Jane, when flight attendants asked if anyone on board was proficient in sign language. Apparently, there was a deaf and blind man on the flight who was traveling alone, and the flight attendants were hoping that someone might be able to communicate with him by signing into his hand.

Clara, who’s been studying sign language for the past year, volunteered to help the man communicate with the flight attendants.

Jane posted about the chance encounter on Facebook, noting how proud she was of her daughter, and how it was clear “meant to be” that their original flight was canceled.

Jane’s post reads:

The Dalys have had a tumultuous last several days while we vacationed to help my mom settle into her new home.(see earlier post about Baxter and the infamous floss) It ended on a sweet note, and I feel I must share/brag. Clara and I flew home yesterday. Our original flight from Boston was cancelled (of course!) so Alaskan Airline placed us on an earlier flight out. Clara and I made a mad dash to the airport to make the new flight! (we did, phew) Shortly after the flight took off, a flight attendant made an announcement asking if anyone knew sign language. Clara has been studying American Sign Language so she rang the flight attendant button. They explained that the passenger was not only deaf, but also blind. The only way you can communicate with him was by signing into his hand. Clara jumped up and went to see if she could help… And she did! Several times he requested her assistance throughout the flight. Toward the end of the flight he asked for her again, and this time he just wanted to talk. She spent the remainder of the flight until landing with him. He asked her lots of questions, and she signed-spelled the answers into his hand. The flight attendants and the passengers around him were all taken by Clara. They took these photos which they shared with me this morning. After the flight, Clara told me that she thought it was meant to be that our original flight was cancelled and we were placed on this flight so that she could be there to help this man. His name is Timothy. Our original flight was direct to LA. The new flight had a layover in Portland. Timothy was flying to Portland. She’ll probably kill me for posting this, but – Proud of my girl. 

In an interview with CBS, Clara says that Timothy was just happy to have someone to talk to on the long flight. “He didn’t need anything. He was just like lonely and wanted to talk.”

According to CBS, Clara is dyslexic and “says English is already hard for her,” so she began learning how to sign because she “saw sign language as a way to communicate without having to read and write.”

This heartening encounter between Clara and Timothy has been serving as a much-needed piece of good news for many.

Hats off to Clara for adding a little bit of optimism to the world right now.