Disabled woman who fell off wheelchair on plane walkway dies

A disabled woman who claimed she fell down a plane walkway and was paralyzed because airline staff refused to provide her proper help has died.

Gaby Assouline, 25, who had a genetic muscle disease, used a wheelchair on a February 2022 trip from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport to Denver International Airport.

Assouline and her mother requested assistance from a Southwest Airlines employee but were refused, and the disabled daughter made her way out on the jet bridge by herself, states a lawsuit against the airline.

In the process, Assouline was ‘thrown’ from the wheelchair and fell on her head and became paralyzed from her neck down, according to the lawsuit.

Assouline was confined to a bed after the incident and died after 11 months on Sunday, her family shared in an update on her GoFundMe page.

‘Gaby was not alone at the end. We were all blessed to be with her bedside, crying, praying and sharing Gaby stories,’ wrote her mother Sandra Assouline.

‘Gaby’s life was tragically interrupted 11 months ago but she put up the greatest fight with grace, friends, laughter and the strong belief that she would leave the hospital and come home very soon. Unfortunately, complications robbed Gaby of that ending.’

The page stated that ‘heaven just received the most beautiful, sweetest, innocent and precious soul!’

Gaby’s family had hoped that she would be able to go home, but her condition worsened.

In court papers, court papers, Southwest Airlines claimed that Gaby refused assistance instead of requesting help.

Southwest Airlines acknowledged Gaby’s death.

‘Southwest offers its sincere condolences to Ms Assouline’s family, friends and all whose lives she touched,’ the airline stated this week. ‘We have a more than 51-year commitment to caring for our People and Customers and remain engaged with the parties involved.’

Her GoFundMe page had raised more than $137,000 as of Tuesday evening.

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