Mother of ill daughter hits back at plane passenger after being told to 'shut child up'
Published 18/08/2016 | 08:01
A mother has hit back against a plane passenger who yelled abuse at her as her ill daughter had a "meltdown" on a flight.
In a Facebook post that has been shared more than 100,000 times, Nicola Colenso, from Northwich, Cheshire, said the "abusive" woman screamed "shut that child up" as her daughter Yasmin was crying on the flight from Ibiza to Manchester.
The eight-year-old suffers from Sturge-Weber syndrome, a rare condition affecting the skin, brain and eyes.
Ms Colenso's partner Rick Murray tried to explain Yasmin's condition, but the woman berated the couple in front of their four children and Mr Murray was branded a "pr**k" for not keeping his daughter quiet.
The family had to call an ambulance to rush Yasmin to hospital later that night when her condition worsened and her lips turned blue.
Describing Saturday's incident on the Jet2 flight and posting a photo of the woman on the social networking site, Ms Colenso said she wanted to raise awareness about the difficulties of children with disabilities face when travelling.
"We were really shocked by the way she spoke to us. It was horrible," Ms Colenso said.
"It was clear to anyone who looked that something wasn't right with Yasmin. But even after explaining it to her calmly and politely, she gave no consideration to this.
"The only thing she seemed to care about was that she could hear what was going on.
"We remained calm and didn't react to what she said as keeping Yasmin calm was our priority and we just wanted to get her home.
"But afterwards I really wanted to raise awareness so it doesn't happen to others who are in the same situation."
The family-of-six, which includes Yasmin's siblings Benji, 17, Harvey, 13, and Alfie, eight, had enjoyed 11 days in Ibiza along with Ms Colenso's parents.
They had ensured Yasmin had been cleared as "fit to fly" by her doctor and had alerted the airline staff to her conditions, which also include epilepsy, glaucoma and autism.
Yasmin's battle with Sturge-Weber Syndrome has seen the little girl already go through more than 50 general anaesthetics.
In 2013 she underwent nine-hour brain surgery to disconnect her left temporal, parietal and occipital lobes in a bid to reduce her 200 seizures a day. Now she has around 11-12, mostly at night.