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November 20, 2010

Oh, My: TSA Pat-down Leaves 61 Year Old Bladder Cancer Sufferer Soaked in Urine, Crying [rdbrewer]

Poor guy.

He wears pants two sizes too large to accomodate the medical equipment he wears. With his belt off, his pants fell down. He tried to tell them about his medical condition and the urostomy bag. The TSA agents informed him they "didn't need to know about that." Only until they saw the bag did they want to know about his medical condition. When they began the pat-down, he tried to warn them about the seal on the bag. They ignored him. Then they broke the seal. Urine dribbled down his shirt and into his pants. No apologies. No offer of help. They acted like it never happened.

A retired special education teacher on his way to a wedding in Orlando, Fla., said he was left humiliated, crying and covered with his own urine after an enhanced pat-down by TSA officers recently at Detroit Metropolitan Airport.

“I was absolutely humiliated, I couldn’t even speak,” said Thomas D. “Tom” Sawyer, 61, of Lansing, Mich.

Sawyer is a bladder cancer survivor who now wears a urostomy bag, which collects his urine from a stoma, or opening in his stomach. “I have to wear special clothes and in order to mount the bag I have to seal a wafer to my stomach and then attach the bag. If the seal is broken, urine can leak all over my body and clothes.”

On Nov. 7, Sawyer said he went through the security scanner at Detroit Metropolitan Airport. “Evidently the scanner picked up on my urostomy bag, because I was chosen for a pat-down procedure.”

Due to his medical condition, Sawyer asked to be screened in private. “One officer looked at another, rolled his eyes and said that they really didn’t have any place to take me,” said Sawyer. “After I said again that I’d like privacy, they took me to an office.”

(Emphasis mine.) He then walked through the airport soaked in urine. He couldn't clean up until he was on the airplane.

As soon as Mr. Sawyer said the words "medical condition," someone should have snapped out of auto-pilot and listened to him before continuing. Not everyone flying is in the same situation. It's not an assembly line. These are real people.


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posted by Open Blogger at 11:42 PM

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