A United Airlines crew including pilots, flight attendants, gate agents, and baggage handlers performed a modern-day miracle when they worked together to enable a man to get in time to his dying mother. When San Francisco resident Kerry Drake got the call that his mother in Lubbock, Texas, was dying, he booked a United Airlines flight to rush to say good-bye to his mother, reported CNN on March 6, 2013.
In order to get from San Francisco to Lubbock, Kerry Drake had to catch a second flight in Houston with only 40 minutes between connecting flights.
Unfortunately for Kerry Drake, his flight from San Francisco to Houston was delayed and he knew that he would be missing his connecting flight to Lubbock to see his dying mother.
“He started crying, obviously distraught. The flight attendants brought napkins for his tears, said they would do what they could to help, and most importantly, got his connecting flight information to the captain, he told CNN.”
When the United Airlines pilot heard from the flight attendants that one man was desperately trying to get to his dying mother, he radioed the information to the pilots of the airplane that was to fly from Houston to Lubbock.
And the pilots in Houston waited for just one passenger; -- Kerry Drake.
When Kerry Drake was running breathlessly towards the gate in Houston, he couldn’t believe what he was hearing.
"I was still like maybe 20 yards away when I heard the gate agent say, 'Mr. Drake, we've been expecting you'."
Kerry Drake’s mother died that night with her son at her bedside.
"At one point she opened her eyes, and I think she recognized me," said Kerry Drake, who spent the night with his mother at the hospital. "Around 4 a.m. she had a real moment of coherence, a last rally, although we didn't know it at the time. It was the last time."
For Kerry Drake’s mother, that “last time” was a moment that would go with her into eternity. For Kerry Drake, it was a “last time” that would stay with him for the rest of his life.
One moment in time that would not have been possible without the heart and dedication of a United Airlines team that seems to truly understand what matters in life; something no one can ever get back again, -- one “last time.”