A Southwest Airlines employee became a passenger’s “light in the darkness” when she personally delivered luggage filled with important cancer-related items to her home in the middle of the night.
Sarah Rowan, a Southwest Airlines customer service agent at Pittsburgh International Airport, received a call the night of July 23. On the line was Stacy Hurt, who had just flown into Pennsylvania from Nashville to make it to her chemotherapy appointment the next morning. Hurt was worried because her luggage had not yet arrived, and Rowan explained that the bags were loaded on a previous flight she had booked which had been rerouted and canceled. That meant the items could arrive later that night, or the next day.
“I panicked,” Hurt, 46, tells PEOPLE. “I thought of all the things I had in that suitcase that I needed for chemotherapy the very next day. My world was rocked.”
Hurt explained to Rowan that the bag contained medication that helped her with the side effects of chemotherapy, such as anxiety and reflux. But the luggage also included comfort items that were emotionally important to Hurt, such as a rosary and a lucky t-shirt. She would use them to keep her comfortable as she sat for hours with a chemotherapy needle in her arm the next morning.
“At that point, I started to cry and get very emotional,” says Hurt, who was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer three years ago on her 44th birthday. “You can’t control cancer so you control the things you carry with you for good luck and make you feel safe.”
As Rowan listened to Hurt, she was reminded of someone dear to her — her father, Frank Rowan, who died six years ago from complications with Hodgkin’s lymphoma and…