A young, female leukemia patient says she was humiliated by a security search at Seattle's Sea-Tac airport last week. Security officials lifted bandages from recent surgeries, lifted her shirt to check feeding tubes and broke open an IV bag of saline solution, all in full view of other passengers, according to a report by Seattle's KOMO News.
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The Detroit-area woman, Michelle Dunaj, who is dying of leukemia, was taking an "end of life" trip to Hawaii, flying through Seattle. She called her airline, Alaska Air, ahead of time to find out what the procedure would be for traveling with prescription medicines and to request a wheelchair, but, when she got to security, Dunaj said, "nothing happened as it should."
Airport security officials denied Dunaj's requests for a private search, saying, "the location is fine," she told KOMO News. "It shouldn't have happened that way-they should be more respectful of people," she said.
In addition to the violation of Dunaj's privacy during the search, airport security officials opened and contaminated one of Dunaj's saline bags. Dunaj says she chose to speak out about her treatment so that other people don't undergo the same thing.
"When somebody wants to take a trip-what I call an 'end of life' trip because you want to see your family and friends it's even more important than just a trip," she said.
The TSA website lists policies on traveling with medications, including IV bags, and specifies that "TSA officers are trained to perform pat downs in a dignified manner and, at any point, passengers can request a private screening with a witness present." That's not what happened at Sea-Tac. TSA officials have not returned Yahoo! Shine calls for comment.
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