It can be quite frustrating for travelers when their bags don’t arrive on the same flight. For one cancer patient from Nashville, she felt more than just frustrated—she was panicked! She was, however, caught by surprise when she saw her luggage outside her door at midnight with a heartwarming note.
In July 2017, Stacy Hurt had taken a Southwest Airlines flight from Nashville to Pennsylvania for her chemotherapy appointment but arrived at Pittsburgh International Airport without her suitcase. She called the airline customer service line and was served by Sarah Rowan.
Hurt, who had been diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer three years ago, was advised that her luggage was loaded on a previous flight that was rerouted and canceled; thus, the bags might arrive only later that night or the next day.
“I panicked,” Hurt told 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.”
She also explained to Rowan that the bags had her medication that could help her with the side effects of chemotherapy, as well as comfort items.
“At that point, I started to cry and get very emotional,” Hurt said. “You can’t control cancer so you control the things you carry with you for good luck and make you feel safe.”
Rowan told Hurt that she would look out for her suitcase, but if they did not arrive before 1:30 a.m., the luggage would miss the last courier.
The bags did arrive but it was after the courier had left. Fortunately, Rowan was still around and what she did next astonished Hurt.
Rowan looked up Hurt’s address and drove 25 minutes from the airport to Hurt’s residence to personally deliver the bags at 3:30 a.m. Before leaving, she wrote a heartwarming message for her.
“I just wanted to give her a final message to let her know that I’m thinking of her,” Rowan explained. “That entire night, I was thinking of her, and I wanted her to know that we were behind her.”
Hurt was in tears the next morning.
“I was bawling, it was so overwhelming,” Hurt recalled. “This young lady brought this luggage herself in the middle of the night. I couldn’t believe it. Who does this type of thing?”
It turned out that Rowan was reminded of her father when she heard Hurt’s story. Rowan’s father died six years ago from Hodgkin’s lymphoma and leukemia.
“He was the strongest man I’ve ever known,” Rowan said. “A lot of what I see in Stacy is what I saw in my dad. I felt a very strong connection with her from the start.”
Hurt later found Rowan through Facebook, and they arranged for a meet-up.
“Being in the presence of her beautiful spirit was awesome,” Hurt said. “To meet the woman who helped me during that hurried and panicked night—she’s my guardian angel, she’s my light in the darkness. I mean it, from the bottom of my heart.”