Shantell Pooser, or “Princess Shannie” as she likes to be known, made her dreams come alive by becoming American Airlines’ first honorary flight attendant with Down syndrome. Pooser frequently flies to and from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital to receive necessary medical assistance, and has made friends with the flight attendants. One day, a flight attendant gifted her a pair of silver wings, and the pilot gave her a tour of the cockpit. Inspired by the kindness of the flight attendants and intrigued by their work, Shantell sought to imitate their example and aspired to become one of them.
Despite her bubbly, outgoing attitude, Pooser has been through much more than a typical 17-year-old, having undergone 30 surgeries to-date. Pooser was not only born with Down syndrome, but she also has a very rare degenerative airway condition that hinders her breathing. Physicians say the condition will require additional surgery and may be terminal. Even against all these odds, her mom spends every day cherishing and creating memories with her by helping her complete her bucket list.
According to an article on CNN:
Miller-Berry says she is grateful for each day she can share with her daughter. Although specialists recently recommended hospice for Pooser, her mom is on a mission to fill her daughter’s life with as many exciting memories as possible. She has created a GoFundMe account to fulfill her daughter’s final wishes and lessen the cost of needed medical care:
“I wanted to celebrate her life while she is still here so she could see the celebration.”
Her health may be declining, but Miller-Berry plans on helping Pooser complete her bucket list. In addition to becoming American Airlines’ first honorary flight attendant, Pooser has crossed off a few other things on her bucket list, including meeting Tyler Perry and her favorite first lady, Michelle Obama.
Pooser has already made 20 flights while in her uniform, and though her job comes with restrictions, she is always cheerful and ready to work. One of her favorite tasks is to pass out snacks, giving each person what snack she thinks is best.