Thursday, December 27, 2012

When a mother sees her child die....

A really sad tale that no parent should have to live through....

In the private hell of a mother's grief, the sounds come back to Judy Neiman. The SUV door slamming. The slight bump as she backed up in the bank parking lot. The emergency room doctor's sobs as he said her 9-year-old daughter Sydnee, who previously had survived four open heart surgeries, would not make it this time.
Her own cries of: How could I have missed seeing her?
The 53-year-old woman has sentenced herself to go on living in the awful stillness of her West Richland, Wash., home, where she makes a plea for what she wants since she can't have Sydnee back: More steps taken by the government and automakers to help prevent parents from accidentally killing their children, as she did a year ago this month.


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Connecticut Elementary School Shooting: How To Help

After the mass shooting that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Friday, local mental health professionals and aid organizations are stepping forward to help those affected by the tragedy.

According to, a number of organizations are prepared to help with counseling services and bereavement therapy and funds have been set up to support the victims' families.

Find out how the area’s nonprofits are getting involved in the relief effort and how you can help:

Sandy Hook School Support Fund
United Way, a global nonprofit that works to improve families and individuals’ education, income stability and health, has set up the Sandy Hook School Support Fund through its Western Connecticut chapter. The fund will provide support services to the families that have been affected by the mass shooting. Donations can be mailed to: Sandy Hook School Support Fund c/o Newtown Savings Bank 39 Main Street, Newtown CT 06470 or submitted online:

Danbury Hospital
Danbury hospital has partnered with other local counseling and mental health agencies within the community and is providing crisis intervention services 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  Contribute here:

Friends of the Engel Family Fund
Olivia Engel, 6, was shot and killed during the tragic Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. To help the family of the little girl who longtime family friend, Dan Merton, said "had perfect manners" and was the "teacher's pet, the line leader," supporters have set up the Friends of the Engel Family Fund.  

Sandy Hook Elementary School Victims Relief Fund
A former Sandy Hook student has set up the Sandy Hook Elementary School Victims Relief Fund in conjunction with Crowdrise, to raise funds for the victims, families and others affected by the tragic shooting. Donations will be directed to the Sandy Hook PTSA, according to the fundraising site.  Find out how you can get involved:

Newtown Memorial Fund
The Newtown Memorial Fund aims to help victims’ families pay for funeral costs, set up a community-wide memorial and a college scholarship fund for the students of the Newtown Public Schools. Find out how you can get involved: 

Emilie Parker Memorial Fund
Emilie Parker, 6, was one of 26 victims killed on Friday in the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. To support Emilie’s parents, Robbie and Alissa, in paying for medical expenses, arranging for a funeral in Utah and taking off from work to spend time with family, friends and relatives have set up the Emilie Parker Memorial Fund. To donate via PayPal, use the email

Newtown Youth and Family Services 
Newtown Youth & Family Services, Inc., a nonprofit mental health clinic, will be open Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for emergency counseling for families, community members or staff involved in the Sandy Hook 
Elementary school tragedy. All donations made to the organization will benefit those affected. Find out how you can help: 

Newtown Parent Connection
The Newtown Parent Connection, a nonprofit that addresses issues of substance abuse, also offers bereavement group counseling on the first Wednesday of every month. The organization told The Huffington Post that it’s going to try to bring in additional counselors to accommodate the needs of those affected by the Sandy Hook shooting. Find out how you can help:

Project Linus
Project Linus, a nonprofit that brings comfort to children in crisis, has arranged to send more than 700 warm, cozy handmade blankets to children affected by this latest shooting, according to an email sent to The Huffington Post. Find out how you can get involved: 

The American Red Cross
The American Red Cross of Connecticut provided more than 50 units of blood platelets and plasma to the Danbury Hospital, where some of the victims were transported, spokesperson Melanie Pipkin told the Huffington Post. The aid organization has also distributed food and water to first responders and is setting up a family reception center that will provide initial grief counseling. The aid organization is not seeking blood donations at this time and is asking supporters to reach out to the Sandy Hook School Support Fund. Find out how you can get involved:

Support Family of Noah Pozner
Family members remember Noah Pozner, 6, -- one of 26 victims killed on Friday -- as “just a really lively, smart kid." According to a Facebook page set up in Noah’s memory, supporters can send letters of support to a friend who will deliver them to the family later this week. Cards can be mailed to: Friends of Maddie 1534 North Moorpark Road Suite 284 Thousand Oaks, CA 91360
From Huffingtonpost .com

Monday, December 17, 2012

A dad’s experience in overcoming grief: Any lessons for parents and survivors of Connecticut school shooting?

It has been a terrible weekend for parents of young children and everyone who continues to come to grips with the terrible tragedy in Connecticut.
While nation continues to mourn the senseless loss of young lives, parents of the twenty young children continue the struggle to cope.
There seems to be a tremendous amount of public spotlight on the tragedy and outpouring of support at local and national level. Resources are being provided to ensure parents and other kids who survived the tragedy are able to cope. However, the media spotlight will soon fade and the fact is each of the parents will try and cope with grief in their own personal way.
Fathers, mothers and siblings will try and search for answers and find closure.
This weekend, I was reflecting on this tragedy briefly and also on how my wife and I tried to move ahead after we lost our infant son in an untimely manner. Parents may find other avenues to cope with the grief. A few articles from media:
  • Support groups: Psychologists Jeff Gardere and Peggy Norwood joined HuffPost Live hosts Marc Lamont Hill and Abby Huntsman to discuss how those affected by Friday's deadly shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., Friday morning can begin coping with the tragedy. Gardere said that parents of children at the school need to use each other for support. 
  • CNN Blogs: How parents can cope with fear? While the nation processes the horror and fights for change to help prevent anything like this happening ever again, we also need to find ways to handle the rush of emotions we’re feeling. How do you send your kids off to school and do your best to know they’ll be safe? For some answers, I spoke with clinical psychologist Paula Bloom.
  • Dad speaks out after daughter slain at school : A father who lost his six-year-old daughter in the Connecticut school shooting broke down in tears, remembering her.
For me, writing about my experience was cathartic (ref book “a child lost in flight”).
From Los Angeles Times: It may not be possible to understand a tragedy like the shooting Friday in Newton, Conn., but parents can help their children cope with the fear and insecurity.
A number of resources are available.
Talking with Children about School Violence: Advice from the Lucy Daniels Center in North Carolina and tailored for children 11 years old or younger.
Talking to Kids about School Safety: Mental Health America also offers suggestions, along with a list of signs that indicate a child may need help.
Caring for Kids After Trauma, Disaster and Death: A Guide for Parents and Professionals: A report published by The New York Child Study Center (PDF).
Stopping School Violence: From The National Crime Prevention Council (PDF).
"Talking to Children About Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers”: From the National Association of School Psychologists (PDF).
Talking to Children about Community Violence: advice from the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.
National Institute of Mental Health: A free booklet that describes what parents can do to help children and adolescents cope with violence and disasters.
PBS Parents: Tools for talking with kids of all ages about these difficult stories.
National Child Traumatic Stress Network: More tools for parents in the aftermath of a traumatic event.
Helping Children Regain Their Emotional Safety After a Tragedy: A guide produced by Kidpower Teenpower Fullpower International.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Shocking news: Man kills 26 at Conn. school, including 20 kids

As father that has lost a child, my heart goes out to parents of #Connecticut #elementary school kids. 
Words cannot convey the grief over loss of a child. May the power above be with you and families. 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Life & Death Inextricably Connected, Bereaved Mother Says

The 3 Ways Faith Transforms Tragedy
into Enlightenment

Life & Death Inextricably Connected, Bereaved Mother Says
Before the death of her 16-year-old twin daughter, Sarah, Caroline Flohr says she was living under some major misapprehensions.  “Like so many, I believed that tragedies happened somewhere else, to other families, and were something we only read about,” she says.

On Aug. 23, 2004, it happened in her community – to her family. Sarah died in a car accident. It would take Caroline several years to come to some kind of peace.
“I believed that death came after a life had been fully lived, when one was long past childhood. I was wrong,” says Caroline who writes about her family’s spiritual journey in the memoir, “Heaven’s Child. “Death comes when it will.”

On the fifth anniversary of Sarah’s death, her friends and family – Caroline; Sarah’s grandmother, Nonny; her grandfather, Papa Ed; stepfather, Andy; twin sister, Caiti; brother, Christopher; sister, Mary; and her sister, Annie – agreed to set her free. She would be released from her family’s pain and grief, powerful emotions that ensnared her spirit. The family accepted her loss in a celebratory ceremony at Sarah’s grave.  “I’ve allowed my heart to mend, to hold onto Sarah’s memory but not the pain of her loss,” says Caroline. She says she has become a more complete and spiritual person since the death of her daughter, and explains how her faith made that possible:
• “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” – Martin Luther King … What does a bereaved mother do with the rest of her teenage daughter’s life, which has moved on to the next stage? After a few weeks, Caroline cancelled Sarah’s cell phone, and the family slowly returned to a regular routine. Caroline lights a candle during dinner, with a picture of Sarah and her twin sister placed nearby. Though she can’t see Sarah, she feels her presence. It may be in the kindness of a stranger, the sudden appearance of something that was lost, the smell of a certain fragrance. Faith is believing in that which you can’t see – and not ignoring what you can feel.
• The present is a present: Within weeks of Sarah’s death, the family dog, Emmett, died. After so much loss, the family welcomed a yellow Labrador, which would be named Lady Brooke. While witnessing the joy the dog brought back to the household, it became abundantly clear that experiencing joy in life was a gift. Indeed, every moment given to us should be considered a gift, including the memories of loved ones no longer physically in our lives.
• Interweaving death with life: In the five years from Aug. 23, 2004 to Aug. 24, 2009, Caroline learned how to weave the reality of death into her daily life. Death is no longer one heavy fact that cuts through life but rather a part of life that  makes joy sweeter and relationships richer. By interweaving death with life, we are always reminded of what is important.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Author interview: Caroline Flohr and Heaven's Child

An interview with Caroline Flohr, author of Heaven's Child: a mother's story of tragedy and the enduring strength of family. 

Heartbreaking and heartwarming, Heaven's Child explores the spiritual journey of loss and love. Immersing readers into the raw emotions of a fatal car accident, Caroline Flohr details the many phases she and her family and community moved through on their path to accepting--and embracing--a grievous loss. Flohr challenges the reader to consider death not as the end of the journey but as a beginning. She discusses the power of family, love and faith as related to death and healing; the importance of connecting with family, friends, communities, Nature and the Universe; the significance of our intuition and the synchronicity in our lives; the imprint of our inner strength when faced with adversity; the intersection of choices and accountability; and the celebration of life so lives can expand in the present.

Heaven’s Child is truly a riveting memoir of life and unforgettable testament celebrating the courage of the many, many families who face tragedy every day.

Reader's reactions  and excerpts

“Your strength has been an anchor not only to your family, but to a community much larger than you know.” Dean (retired, Vice principal of Bainbridge High School)
“Heaven’s Child is a lovely heartbreaking and heart lifting tale-- a beautiful expression for your family, friends and strangers alike--all of us human and able to relate to your pain, your curiosity, your passion and your courage…Most days I do take a deep breath in--quiet and still, and feel really lucky to be alive.”Marjo
“You so carefully walk the reader through the valley of grief and the emergence from the darkness, which offers hope and shows how one is changed but can still survive on the other end.  It is an honest book that openly discusses the impact of a sudden death on both the parent and the family...i just need to open my eyes and be more aware of those magic moments.” Katie Fanning
“One thing that continues to resonate with me is how everyone in our life is on loan and to operate on a daily basis with that in mind.  It is so easy to get caught up in the details and the stresses of life and this story is a monumental reminder of staying grounded enough to find the love, compassion, and gratitude in every day.” Rachael

From the Author: Why you wrote the book or what you hope the reader will get out of it?

Like most women my age with five children, my life was busy. Three children from a first marriage and two from a second, I was focused on family and living a quiet life on Bainbridge Island, just a 35-minute ferry ride from downtown Seattle. Nothing could have prepared me for the early morning knock at our front door in August 2004. That morning our lives changed. Unbeknownst to us, eight teens had packed into an SUV and took a midnight joyride on our dark island roads. My 16-year-old twin daughter, Sarah, was dead. No details were given. The coroner called 4 hours later. No one was asked to identify her body.

When five years passed, we knew it was time to release Sarah, that she needed to journey on, that we would be okay, and that now...Sarah lived within each of us, her Light shining bright. It was then that I took pen to paper and began crafting my story from five years of scribbled notes and jottings in journals so that my children who live could walk beside their mother during this epic period of trauma and growth. Heaven’s Child was published in June 2012.

When I read my story, these three universal truths stare back at me:

1. Tragedy is inevitable in our lifetime but our inner strength and resilience are stronger than tragedy. I now know it is how we weave adversity into our lives that allows our lives to expand in the present.
2. I believe that there is significance to my intuition and the synchronicity in my life. Maybe it is the work of a higher power, maybe magical processes. I choose to see and feel that which cannot be explained as God’s presence. More than ever before, I am trying pay attention to life--asking, noticing and responding to the beauty of each day.
3. What I do know for sure now is that death is not the end but a beginning, that what matters in the end are the connections left behind. No matter what we believe, if we can find beauty in death and live with love left behind, our lives will strengthen in ways we never dream possible.

Heaven’s Child is a raw and real story that dares you to open your mind and your heart and inspires you to live life a little differently. I hope the truths of the story will speak to readers comfortably in expected as well as unexpected ways.

Behind the scenes - something of interest that happened while you were writing the book 

I cannot deny the many coincidences--or magical processes as some may which to call them--which have occurred since Sarah’s death. One in particular I’d like to share is the last paragraph of the chapter titled, “Tolo Road,” which is the one chapter narrated in Sarah’s voice.

“Death doesn’t happen instantly. For a little while, you hover around your body, confused. What you want more than anything is to go home, to be safe, to know you’re okay. But my life was over.”

This paragraph seemed to write itself. Today, when I read those four sentences, I am still captivated.

Aabout the author: Born and raised in Seattle, Washington, I spent my childhood summers at our family cabin in the San Juan Islands watching ferries pass, digging for clams, crafting collages with driftwood and shells, and fishing. I graduated from the University of Washington with an engineering degree. With three children from a first marriage, two from a second, and a business designing and building houses and landscapes with my husband, I keep busy.

Although educated as an engineer, I have always been drawn to writing. My brief escapes to quiet places and quickly jotted notes always provided calm and comfort, like spending a few minutes with a close friend, a good listener.

Little did I know that ultimately my writing would be my survival during the most traumatic, harrowing time of my life, the death of my daughter, Sarah, a 16-year old twin.
Today I live full-time with my family on Bainbridge Island, Washington, in Puget Sound watching the ferries pass to and from downtown Seattle. I claim inspiration from combing the beach for sea glass and treasures, running the island’s trails with my yellow lab, tending my perennial garden, skiing in the Cascade Mountains, reading good literature, traveling, biking and hiking, tennis, and writing.  Besides exploring the intersection of religion and science, I have begun work on a second story, part memoir and part fiction based on my high school years at a boarding school in Southern California. 

Just in…I am thrilled to be a featured author at Seattle University’s “Search For Meaning” conference in March 2013!

Author's blog, website and other links : and

Friday, October 12, 2012

#kindleFree #freebook Available for download: A child lost in flight

"A Child lost in flight" is available for #free #download to #kindle this weekend Friday 12th Oct to Sunday 14th Oct
UK Amazon:

Recent Amazon review

Poignant and touching, October 11, 2012 By Author Way Limited 
This review is from: A Child Lost in Flight : Moving on after tragedy on Flight 229 (Kindle Edition)
I found this a difficult book to read and by that I mean no criticism. Far from it, it was beautifully written and came straight from the heart describing the actions and emotions of a grieving father, trying to find some answers following the untimely loss of his child. It is impossible to digest such raw emotion without sharing a small piece of the despair he endured. Poignant and touching.
Mohan K's search for truth raises some serious questions about airline procedures and aviation safety.

4.0 out of 5 stars A Tragic Tale, October 10, 2012
By  J. Kong "Galaxy Rider" (REAL NAME)  
This review is from: A Child Lost in Flight : Moving on after tragedy on Flight 229 (Kindle Edition)
A Child Lost in Flight written by Mohan K. is about the worst tragedy an individual could ever experience. The loss of a child is like losing a part of yourself, a part of your soul. That void can never be refilled, no matter how many children you have, or how long you live. However, if given the time to grieve properly, then the pain would lessen.

This grieving period is not the same for everyone, nor do we grieve alike. Each person must find their own path to inner peace. For some it would take a few months before they could move onward, for others a few years. Eventually one learns to live with the loss and move forward.

A Child Lost in Flight is about the loss of Mohan's firstborn child and the path he was thrown onto in search of inner peace. This story engages the reader from the beginning. Any parent with a sympathetic heart would be touched by this incident. How can they not be? We have all flown with small children. It could happen to anyone.

I, myself, have three children, and children are my weakness. Normally, I stay away from stories with sad plots that involve children. They give me nightmares and haunt me for several days. For this reason only, I give this book four stars. DO NOT allow my personal feelings keep you from reading `A Child Lost in Flight'. I feel EVERYONE SHOULD READ this book. Knowledge is power. And this book opens your eyes to many things that we take for granted on a daily basis.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Overcoming a Parent’s Worst Nightmare

Bereaved mother offers tips on her most important Life Lesson

Perhaps the worst thing that can happen to a parent is experiencing the loss of a child. However, as one mother shares, it’s possible to turn one’s devastation into spiritual enlightenment and to weave the tragedy into the fabric of your life and your family.

“I don’t think any parent ever gets over the loss of a child,” says Caroline Flohr, whose memoir “Heaven’s Child,” (, recounts the transformative death of her 16-year-old twin daughter, Sarah.
“Through the web of pain, I have been amazed by the power of family, love and faith in healing. I have learned that death defines not the end of the journey, but a beginning.”
Flohr reviews some of the milestones in her journey to inner peace:
  • Deeper meaning: Through the death of someone so important, you will be changed. The question is how you will be changed. Will you grow, or become diminished? Flohr grew with the realization that death – so often viewed as an end – is just the beginning of another phase of existence. “One of my favorite quotes is from poet Rabindranath Tagore: “Death is not extinguishing the light. It is putting out the lamp because dawn has come.”
  • Celebrate life: When the bereaved are able to look at the life of a person who has passed and see more beauty than pain, they should rejoice. The reality of a person’s absence will always have an element of sadness, but the joy of  wonderful memories is even more powerful. When loved ones leave this Earth, graces are given to those relationships left behind. These are gifts. When we can acknowledge them, our lives can expand in the present.
  • Ready for anything: Once you’ve experienced the worst and pulled through, you know you will be able to weather just about any adversity. Maya Angelou wrote, ‘“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” Have faith in that inner strength we all harbor, Flohr says.
  • Appreciate what you have: Life as we know it will come to an end. This includes everyone we know, love and care about; it’s a fact that we often forget, and it’s as startling to remember as it is true. Come good or bad, we do not know what the future will bring, which means we should take every opportunity to fully embrace the present, and our loved ones.

About Caroline Flohr: Caroline Flohr was a busy wife and mother to five children when her 16-year-old twin daughter, Sarah, was killed in an accident. She was forced to dig into the deeper meaning of existence and came away with profound edification. Flohr lives with her husband and children on Bainbridge Island, a suburb of Seattle.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Should Authors Respond to Critical Reviews? Yes

It has been a few months since my book “a child lost in flight” was published. The book has been steadily gathering reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. As any writer would, I have been reflecting on the reviews, especially the critical ones. The reviews seem to fall into a few broad categories.
Favorable Reviews
Review category 1: OMG, yet another book on grief and death. These reviews generally start by reviewer feeling sorry for my circumstance, and ends thanking me for the “happy ending”
My response: To this my response would be “thank you for sharing my journey”
Review Category 2: Accidental reviewer. Reader generally is not sure why they picked up a book on death and grief – perhaps motivated by a blog post or other reviews. They too generally end with a “thanks for the happy ending”
My response: To this again my response would be “thank you for sharing my journey”

Neutral Reviews
Review category 3: It was a fast read. In this review, the reader generally begins thanking me for the narrative without being verbose.
My response: In the book, I could have delved a bit more into the gory details of my experience. I realize I kept the narrative intentionally short.  Wonder if expanding the book from 60 to over 100 pages would leave the reader more “satisfied”?

Critical Reviews
I appreciate the fact that some reviewers have taken the time to be critical about this work. And even while being critical, they have taken pains to point out the critique is about my narrative and not about my experience or the ordeal I went through.
Review category 4: The book was focused on me (the author), my grief and how I tried moving on. It did not highlight how others around me reacted and felt.   
My response: This is right. My original intent was to focus on highlighting “my” story, my viewpoint and perhaps my grief and moving on. Even Suja, my wife, who kindly agreed to proof read it remarked how I had completely omitted her perspective and viewpoint from the narrative. After all, weren’t we in the journey together?

Review category 5: Book feels a bit unfinished. Perhaps could do with some editorial help. The narrative has a ‘blog like’ feel to it.
My response: absolutely right. I would love for a publisher to assign a good editor to work with me and help me make the narrative more readable. My guess is that the genera – story of grief and death – perhaps doesn’t have a mass market. Even folks who might read fiction about death or paranormal might shy off a real-life story of grief and redemption. If there is no market for such book, it is unlikely that a publisher will ‘invest’ in the book.

Bottomline: A heartfelt thanks to all reviewers. Please keep the reviews coming. At some point, I may revisit the book and ad a few more details. And make sure the flow and narrative reads better.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Book Reviews by Courtney Bauman: A child lost in flight

Book Review by Courtney Bauman

It was one of the saddest books I have read in a while. It is a non-fiction memoir about the loss of a child. It is very heartfelt and touching, and I am sure it will hit home to all young parents who worry about their newborns. While, hopefully, the occurrences in the story will not happen to them, having a newborn child always leaves parents with a small sense of paranoia with everything they do.

This book was very well written. It was short – only 60 pages but took you basically through hell and back. Overall, it is a story about recovering from a terrible tragedy, and while time may heal some wounds, you need support from friends, family, and sometimes religion to be able to heal enough to move on with your life. This story is very inspirational, and reminds you not to take the simple things in life for granted.

Overall, this book receives a 5/5 for me. It was very well written, and I was hooked from the first page. I needed to know what was going to happen.  I encourage everyone to pick up this book. It is very short and inexpensive, and the struggle that Mohan and his wife went through needs to be brought to light. You will not regret this purchase.

Thanks for the review Courtney

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

#BookChat A Child Lost in Flight by Mohan K. #memoir

Rachelle Ayala, author, blogger and top reviewer has kindly featured "A child lost in Flight" on her blog today (3rd October)

"Mohan, as a parent who has lost a child I can totally empathize with the tragedy that happened to you. You are indeed brave and inspiring to write about such a painful subject. I do look forward to reading your memoir. Thanks for sharing it with us. -Rachelle"

Thanks for the opportunity and kind words Rachelle!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Amazon reviews for the book this week

Reviews for "A child lost in flight" on Amazon

Parents everywhere - read this, September 14, 2012
By Miss Lavelle

This review is from: A Child Lost in Flight : Moving on after tragedy on Flight 229 (Kindle Edition)
An explicit account of a real situation, showing the clear failings of procedures from airline staff and authorities during an emergency situation. The delays this couple experienced with so many people around them, who, with better training, could have helped save this baby, is heartbreaking to read.

A truly terrible situation to be in and the `after-care' when the plane had landed is nothing short of shocking.

The author is working through his grief, without the answers he needs to do this. I must say, the man should be honoured to actually write all this down for us to read.

All the way through the book I've thought "You need a lawyer - no matter how long it takes, how much it costs - you need a lawyer". But the author doesn't have the financial back-up for that or the energy to see this through a long process. Someone has to pay for the delays, inexperienced staff and shocking wait for oxygen. And to add into it all, for staff to then leave the situation for landing protocall and not continue and try to save a human life. Where's the human touch in that? I'm outraged .........

This couple need help and someone out there can help to find a way for this couple to seek proper answers and closure.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews


From Tradgedy to Acceptance, September 13, 2012
By Joan C. Curtis "Total Communications Coach" (Athens, GA USA)
This review is from: A Child Lost in Flight : Moving on after tragedy on Flight 229 (Kindle Edition)
This heart-wrenching story describes every parent's nightmare. I have a close friend experiencing her first baby's birth. She's a native Italian who wants to go to Italy with the baby a few months after the child's birth. After reading this, I'm inclined to discourage her.

Perhaps the airlines are not prepared for infant travel. Clearly something terrible happened--whether it was the lack of oxygen or the sudden decrease in cabin pressure that infants cannot tolerate. Parents need to be aware of the dangers and the risk.

The author's account is clear and shows his shock and anger. Even though, he managed to go through all the stages of grief and finally reached the stage of "acceptance." He described the events in a way to help readers understand the torment he and his family endured without painting painful pictures. The raw events were painful enough.

Every parent, who is considering taking his or her infant on a long flight, need to read this account. It is a quick read and full of information that may save a child's life.


The Most Horrible Tragedy of All!, September 13, 2012
By Sydney Johnston (Atlanta, GA)
This review is from: A Child Lost in Flight : Moving on after tragedy on Flight 229 (Kindle Edition)
Honestly, this was a terrible book to read. Every parent's worst nightmare is something happening to their child. We often wonder what we could possibly do to cope - and pray that we never have to find out.

The author of "A Child Lost in Flight: Moving on after tragedy on Flight 229" was one of those who actually had to live with such terrible heartbreak when his child, Aditya, died on a plane as he and his wife watched. The shocking tragedy is made so much worse by the seeming lack of compassion of officials surrounding the parents. And, of course, the grieving father tries to make some sense of a senseless death from asphyxiation.

The real challenge is living day-to-day life without the baby and his grief can only be imagined. Surely the new child, Vijay, will help. Still, we never really get over such a loss.

A quick and intense read, September 11, 2012
By  Scott Helvick
This review is from: A Child Lost in Flight : Moving on after tragedy on Flight 229 (Kindle Edition)
Mohan's story about the sudden loss of his infant son and subsequent grieving is an ugly-yet-beautiful look into one couple's tragic experience. Not only was I quickly drawn into their plight by Mohan's relatable writing style, but I also learned a bit about the culture and bureaucracy of India, a country which I personally have never visited.

The author does an excellent job of telling the story as it happened, of not concealing the details about the less-than-courteous treatment by others during the aftermath of his child's death, while still ending on a high note that doesn't leave the reader feeling like they've missed something. What exactly is that high note? You'll have to read the book to find out!


A Story which Must Be Read!, September 11, 2012
By Luv2Read
This review is from: A Child Lost in Flight : Moving on after tragedy on Flight 229 (Kindle Edition)
A Child Lost in Flight is a heartbreaking story, especially for those of us out there who are parents, and who know what it is to love a child.

I consider this book a must-read - not only because of the nature of the story, but because it's obvious that the author's story needs to be told. There are some serious issues surrounding the level of treatment he and his wife received under the circumstances, surrounding the general lack of knowledge of the crew of the airplane and of the airline, and with the complete lack of respect for the grieving parents by several individuals of authority in the aftermath.

I congratulate the author. Instead of simply accepting the tragedy he has suffered, he is doing something about it. As painful as it must be for him to relive it, he's broadcasting his own tragedy so that future tragedies will not occur. And for those of us who are compassionate and capable of empathy, we owe it to him to be a part of his story, to help make his story more widely known.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

In the news: A teen with Down syndrome was stopped from boarding plane

There was an incident pertaining to air-travel that caught the attention of the media and Digirati this week: A teen with Down syndrome was stopped from boarding plane. CNN also featured the incident in an extensive weekend program. Most of us were shocked to watch the CNN program and to read accounts of the incident on blogs.  

The teen, Bede Vanderhorst and his parents were asked to take another flight when the pilot decided the boy couldn’t be on his flight. Apparently they had a first-class ticket on the American Airline flight, and were re-booked on another United Airline flight.  The Vanderhorsts family was naturally upset and told the media they planned to file a discrimination lawsuit against the airline.

A few years ago, we lost our baby while on an international flight. I have tried to reflect on that incident and the stress parents traveling with children undergo. Here is my two cents on what I am reading and hearing. Most of us only have a second hand account of the incident from the media:
·         Parent’s account: 
  • "We were not allowed on the plane because this man saw my son and made a decision," Joan Vanderhorst told the media "This little boy had a seat in first class and for some reason that wasn't acceptable." The Vanderhorst family says Bede was well-behaved, and they showed video of him sitting in the gate area playing with his hat. 
  • American Airlines spokesman Matt Miller said in a written statement: "The young man was agitated and running around the gate area prior to boarding," "Our pilot noticed and asked a customer service manager to talk to the family to see if we could help him calm down and get better acclimated to the situation. That effort was ultimately unsuccessful."
The fact remains, parents traveling with children undergo a lot more stress planning and preparing for a trip. To be asked to take another flight can throw spanner in the works of a well orchestrated plan, it can be excruciating to the family indeed.

The parents of Bede Vanderhorst had another reason to be upset. The father, Joan Vanderhorst, was quoted saying "I kept saying, 'Is this only because he has Down syndrome?'"  

With these few accounts alone, the media, bloggers and and digrati has proceeded to hold American Airline accountable.  I wonder if one ought to give a benefit of doubt to the airline, pilot and ground staff also?  Especially if other passengers and the ground staff had noticed something that would have alarmed them? Bottomline, in this particular situation, all the facts are not in front of us. It would be great if the media and digirati could unearth all the facts while also helping Vanderhorst family move on!

Other accounts
  • Gawker: Family Kicked Off Flight After Teen With Down Syndrome Gets Labeled ‘Flight Risk’
  • Laist: Airline Refuses to Board Teen With Down Syndrome, Labels Him 'flight risk'
  • Consumerist:  Family Booted From Flight, Claim American Airlines Didn’t Want Son With Down Syndrome In First Class