Flight attendant’s sweet act leads to lasting friendship for teen with autism: ‘Changed his life’
A flight attendant’s above-and-beyond actions resulted in a lasting friendship, and a very meaningful graduation ceremony, for a young boy with autism.
Garrison, who is autistic, loves airplanes and wanted to share his passion with Connolly.
“I love planes also so I was excited to interact with him and let him tell me everything he wanted to share about flying that he loves so much,” Connolly said to WFAA.
Once the plane landed, the pair reportedly went their separate ways with Garrison heading back to his home in Keller, Texas.
However, in a heartwarming turn of events, their friendship did not end there. Instead, Connolly sent a book on airplanes that had belonged to her dad, a former Air Force pilot and current American Airlines pilot, to Garrison’s school, Central High School, along with a note.
“I was your flight attendant. My dad is a pilot. We really love airplanes too. We found this old airplane guide and I thought you should have it,” part of the note read, WFAA reported.
Since then the twosome have continued their bond, which has led to Garrison learning a lot more about planes, including getting a tour inside a Southwest flight simulator. Garrison’s mom, Renee Christy, told WFAA that her son not only carries the books she sent around with him everywhere, but it has also helped him improve his language and reading skills.
“Just a few minutes on a plane changed his life in getting this amazing friend,” said Renee said to WFAA.
And now Garrison, who is graduating from high school, wants to make sure his “favorite” friend is front and center.
“Before he even got to a family member, his first selection was Erica,” Renee said of Garrison choosing five people who are allowed to attend his graduation ceremony.
“I think we all need a lot more Ericas in the world,” Renee added.
As far as her role in Garrison’s life, she’s happy to have made a positive impact.
“I always try to be just a little bit kinder than is necessary. I think if more people took that approach in life, the world would be a little bit of a better place,” she said to WFAA.
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