Published 7:52 PM EDT Oct 14, 2018
A South Carolina teen is on cloud nine after American Airlines granted her wish in honor of her 17th birthday.
During a special birthday party at Columbia Metropolitan Airport, the airline inducted Shantell “Princess” Pooser as a flight attendant Saturday, becoming their first stewardess with special needs and a terminal illness.
Shantell has Down Syndrome and is fighting a series of airway defects, her mother, Deanna Miller Berry, told WIS10. “They’re called laryngomalacia, tracheomalacia, and tracheobronchial malacia.”
Shantell 's condition, which obstructs more than 87 percent of her airways, requires the teen and her mom to frequently travel to the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. That is where her love of flying was born.
“So far, we’ve been on over 57 (flights). That’s including the connecting flights, as well, too,” Berry told the outlet. "She saw the flight attendant, and she was like, ‘Mommy, I want to be a flight attendant.'"
Wearing an American Airlines uniform, Shantell showed up to at Columbia Metropolitan Airport for her first day of work Saturday with a pit crew of her own – her proud friends and family.
Berry described her daughter's birthday party “a dream come true.”
USA TODAY reached out to American Airlines for comment.
Related: Unruly flyer's in-flight pull-ups force flight to divert to Kansas City
More: Southwest removes 'unruly' passenger from plane for yelling N-word at flight attendant