When Kelly Davis Karas and her colleagues learned that the grandmother of one of the victims of the Orlando shooting, Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, was on their JetBlue flight to Orlando they went out of their way to help her, offering her tissues and blankets. But a flash of inspiration from Davis Karas ended with a touching Facebook post that has gone viral.
"I had the idea to pass around a piece of paper to everyone on board and invite them to sign it for this grieving grandmother," Davis Karas wrote in the post, which has been shared more than 85,000 times.
Ocasio-Capo, 20, was a youngest victim of the shooting at the Orlando nightclub Pulse that killed 49 people. The massacre is the worst mass-shooting event in American history.
During beverage service, flight attendants asked passengers if they wanted to sign the paper. When she began passing the paper, Davis Karas figured she'd end up with a handful of signatures that she could hand to the woman, showing that people were thinking of her and her family.
About halfway through, though, another flight attendant approached Davis Karas asking for more paper. Passengers were writing paragraphs of condolences for Ocasio-Capo's grandmother. It became clear there wasn't enough time or space for everyone to write a message on one piece of paper, so the crew began handing out more.
"When we gathered them together to present them to her, we didn't have just a sheet of paper covered in names, which is what I had envisioned. Instead, we had page after page after page after page of long messages offering condolences, peace, love and support. There were even a couple of cash donations, and more than a few tears," Davis Karas said.
TODAY reached out to the flight attendant, but JetBlue's corporation communications team said crew members are not doing interviews.
Adding to the show of sympathy and respect, each passenger waited by the door for Ocasio-Capo's grandmother to disembark so they could personally share their condolences.
"Some just said they were sorry, some touched her hand, some hugged her, some cried with her. But every single person stopped to speak to her, and not a single person was impatient at the slower deplaning process," Davis Karas said.
The experience not only touched the flight attendant, but the thousands who read her message online.
"I am moved to tears yet again as I struggle to put our experience into words," Davis Karas said. "People are kind. People do care."