While I was sitting at the gate for my San Francisco -> Denver flight yesterday, a woman comes over and sits, a few rows away, pushing a stroller and carrying a crying boy. She’s a young woman, pretty, Asian, in her late 20s. The little boy is adorable, and looks about 18 months. He’s dressed all cute, with a little preppy sweater. He’s really howling.
A few minutes after she sits down, a couple of airport police come over to her, and start talking… and then paramedics arrive. And more paramedics. Soon there are two San Francisco police officers and six airport paramedics, all crowded around the young woman and her son.
It soon became clear that the little boy hurt his eye — whether he fell down, or got hit in the face with something, I don’t know. One of the paramedics fetched a water bottle, and they started washing the boy’s eye.
He’s really howling, and trying to push them away. The mother starts crying too. She’s very young and very scared.
One of the paramedics said that she should bring the boy to the hospital, there’s something in his eye. The mother said no, she just wants to get home and take him to the doctor there. Some of the paramedics leave after a while, but others stay, to keep her company. We’re about 15 minutes from boarding. The paramedics keep washing the boy’s face, and looking in his eye. They’re very gentle and calm. The boy keeps crying. A lot of people are watching.
One of the paramedics said, ma’am, he really should go to the hospital. The woman says no again, she just wants to get home, but then her phone rings. Maybe it’s her husband. She’s telling him that the paramedics want the boy to go to the hospital. She doesn’t want to miss the flight, she wants to get home. What does he think?
Meanwhile, one of the policeman comes back from talking to the gate agent, and says that they can rebook the family onto the next flight, which is in about six hours. The officer offered to accompany the family to the hospital, stay with them, then bring them back to the airport. The boy is crying, the woman is crying into the phone. It’s really sad.
The gate agent called for boarding, and I got onto the plane. The mother and child didn’t board the flight. I hope they went to the hospital, and that the little boy is okay.