After the flight was delayed due to re-fueling and a reroute caused by bad weather, France told the Post she tried to cool her son using wet wipes. Eventually flight attendants brought France and another mother ice to press against their children’s bodies.
France was allowed to exit the aircraft for approximately 20 minutes, according to the Post, but was then asked to return for takeoff. Once back on board, the plane pushed away from the gate, but with temperatures still sweltering, things continued to worsen.
“His whole body flashed red and his eyes rolled back in his head and he was screaming,” France told the paper. “And then he went limp in my arms. It was the worst moment of my life.”
France told the Post that she and other passengers begged to return to the gate, but ground and air crews seemed to be debating how to best handle the situation.
“This should never have happened,” United Airlines said in a statement to NBC News. “We are profoundly sorry to our customer and her child for the experience they endured. We are actively looking into what happened to prevent this from occurring again.”
United said the pilot returned to the gate as the crew called for paramedics. Medical care was provided to Owen 16 minutes after the captain asked that paramedics be called, the airline.
France, who estimated she and Owen were on the plane for approximately two hours, said her son was released from the hospital and at home the day after the incident took place. She said the airline appeared completely unprepared to handle the situation.
United Airlines suffered a strange series of public relations flops earlier this year, starting when two young women were booted off a flight after a gate agent deemed their leggings inappropriate. Then, Dr. David Dao and United Airlines reached a settlement after a video of Dao being bloodied and dragged off an overbooked flight went viral.