PHILADELPHIA – A woman is speaking after she and her one year old son were kicked out of the American Airlines flight last month because of their rare skin disease.
February 28th is the Rare Disease Day, a day of recognition for people fighting less common diseases. But instead of feeling respected or supported, Jordan Flake said that she and her son, Jackson, were chosen for a skin condition they both have.
"I feel it's the best I've ever been judged or discriminated against," he said.
Flake said she and her son would be back in South Carolina after visiting her husband in Texas before leaving for her military deployment. After settling into their seats, comfortable and on the verge of taking off, an American Airlines employee, who was specifically called on board, approached Flake and his son and said, "What is your rash? Is it okay for you to fly? "And I said," Well, I do not have a rash, I have itchy. "
According to the Foundation for ichthyosis and related skin types (FIRST), ichthyosis is a family of genetic skin disorders characterized by dry, scaly skin that can be thickened or very thin. The prefix "ichthy" is taken from the Greek root for the word fish. Every year more than 16,000 children are born with some form of ichthyosis.
"He [the employee] he returned to the front of the plane and then came back and said: "Sorry, we will not let you fly," Flake said.
He said as he was coming down from the plane he heard a stewardess say, "Well, she has no documents or a ticket from a doctor, so she can not fly."
According to Flake, American Airlines employees forced her and her son to leave the flight, make arrangements for a hotel for one night and then put them on another return flight the next day. Unfortunately, all the luggage of the family has never left the first plane, forcing Jordan to buy new lotions and creams for her and her son.
The FIRST Skin Foundation is located in Colmar, Pennsylvania, about 20 miles outside of Philadelphia. FIRST's mission is to improve lives and seek care for people with ichthyosis and related skin types.
"The feeling of humiliation, the emotional cost that it takes, not only on Jordan, but on everyone, and for Jordan itself, this is for a lifetime now." She will never forget that she was asked to leave a plane, " said Moureen Wenik, executive director of FIRST.
Wenik said she and her FIRST team say they often hear similar stories of discrimination.
"We always hear it, people are asked to leave restaurants, pools, schools, in a store, someone trying to get dressed," Wenik said.
Wenik continued: "I was really heartbroken for her and for the whole community because it meant that other people in the community now felt," What if this happens to me? Does this mean that I need a medical note? "He really opened a wider story."