Five Yr Old Girl Suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis Refused Cushion to Elevate Her Legs

13th Apr 2017

Five-year-old Capri McCarthy, who is suffering from severe rheumatoid arthritis was left in pain after her flight from Bali and had to receive hospital treatment because Jetstar staff refused to allow her to use a cushion to elevate her legs.

Her father Michael McCarthy and his partner Amy Lorraway brought the cushion with them after receiving medical advice that it would help their daughter and placed in in front of her seat. On their way to Bali, they say, they had no problem using the inflatable cushion. Mr. McCarthy even said that the staff on that flight had no problem with the cushion:

"The staff on the way over were having fun and games with my kids and we were having a laugh. No one said 'boo' about it."

On the way back, however, the situation was completely different. According to Mr. McCarthy, one of the flight attendants approached them and said they will have to deflate the cushion as it posed a safety risk.

Mr. McCarthy said:

"The lady was very rude about it and my daughter was in pain the whole flight home crying because she had her legs crouched up on the seat. And I just had to bite my tongue because I didn't want to cause a scene but really thought it was ridiculous. I'm a pretty placid type of bloke but I did tell her to piss off and get out of my face. That's one thing that does tick me off is when people don't have compassion for my children."

The next day, Mr. McCarthy said, his daughter woke up in severe pain:

"She was a bit sick, she also had a cold and was in pain with her legs so we had to take her to the hospital to get painkillers for her, which I don't like to have her on, but she has to have them when she's in pain."

In a statement, a spokesperson for Jetstar Australia apologized for the incident, saying:

"We apologise to this family and young girl for the uncomfortable flight she had with us. Our crew had the safety of this family and other passengers in mind when they asked them to remove the inflatable cushion."

The cushion Capri was using is not included on Jetstar's banned products list.