Elderly woman injured en route to Toronto’s Pearson airport security check

Click to play video: 'In stitches: Toronto senior suffers leg gash after pushed into airport security check'
In stitches: Toronto senior suffers leg gash after pushed into airport security check
WATCH: In stitches: Toronto senior suffers leg gash after pushed into airport security check – Sep 15, 2022

For Bernice and Allan Scanlon, their trip from Toronto to Lisbon got off to an unfortunate start.

The couple was travelling on an Air Canada flight to meet her brother and his wife for an organized tour in Europe.

But after checking in with the airline at Pearson airport on Tuesday evening, their holiday plans would soon be grounded.

An Air Canada employee, pushing Bernice in a wheelchair to the security screening, instead accidentally “bashed her into a corner and cut her leg”, according to her daughter on Twitter.

Scanlon suffered a cut to her leg and required stitches.
Scanlon suffered a cut to her leg and required stitches. Provided

Paramedics were called.

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“She had to be taken to hospital with seven stitches,” said Liz Scanlon, in a later interview with Global News.

After multiple calls to Air Canada’s medical office, the couple was finally cleared to fly to Lisbon Wednesday evening — a day late.

Read more: ‘I feel my life is less-than’: Woman says she’s stuck abroad after Air Canada ‘broke’ her wheelchair

But when they arrived in Portugal, they had a new challenge: the couple’s baggage hadn’t made the flight, including Bernice’s walker, which was bought specifically for the trip to allow her to get around.

“She’d like to move around,” said daughter Liz, who contacted Global News to discuss the issue.

Liz isn’t blaming the Air Canada employee for accidentally causing the injury. But she says the airline doesn’t appear to have taken the injury, or the missing mobility device, very seriously.

“I feel the level of indifference,” said Liz, who spent a whole day trying to reach Air Canada to try and track down the luggage, including the walker.

Lost or delayed luggage is a frustrating fact of life for thousands of travellers this year.

Click to play video: 'Woman says Air Canada ‘totally damaged’ her $30K customized wheelchair'
Woman says Air Canada ‘totally damaged’ her $30K customized wheelchair

It’s bad enough when you’re missing familiar items, but worse if what’s missing or damaged means the loss of independence.

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“When you rob someone of their mobility device you might as well chop off someone’s legs,” said Maayan Ziv, an accessibility advocate in Toronto.

Ziv travelled to Israel for an accessibility conference but says when she arrived, she discovered her custom-fitted wheelchair was badly damaged.

She says it may take months to repair the wheelchair. Initially she says Air Canada offered a $300 flight credit.

“People with disabilities who travel are not being met with the same level of care as people without disabilities experience,” said Ziv.

Read more: Air Canada expects flight, baggage delays to ease this year

Air Canada told Global News that it remains “in contact with this customer to address her concerns,” referring to Ziv’s case.

When asked to explain what happened to Bernice Scanlon’s walker, the airline said in an email, “the bags and mobility aid…are being transported to Lisbon.”

As for Bernice’s leg injuries, sustained during the short wheelchair trip from the Air Canada desk to security, in the care of an employee, the airline said it is “concerned.”

“We will be in contact with the family as part of our review of this regrettable situation,” Air Canada said by email.

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Liz Scanlon says her mother has been told she’ll need to have the stitches removed from her leg while in Portugal.

She’s hoping her parents will enjoy the rest of their trip, despite the rough start.

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