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Dream vacation turned into nightmare after wheelchair goes missing

Last Updated May 29, 2015 at 8:38 pm EST

A Bowmanville woman has been isolated from her children for 48 hours after her wheelchair was left behind on vacation by an airline.

Rose Finlay’s husband, Brandon, had to take time off work to help her and care for their two children who are both under the age of three.

The two traveled to Varadero, Cuba last Tuesday to reconnect as a couple for a dream vacation but it turned into the trip from hell.

On the way home, Finlay insisted her custom made $7,000.00 wheelchair be tagged and asked the crew on board to make sure the chair was put on the plane.

Finlay and her husband waited for her wheelchair to be brought to the door of the plane as it normally is every time she flies. They waited until the entire plane was empty.

Finlay’s heart dropped as a crew member approached them and said “there is no wheelchair under the plane.”

Finlay felt sick and thought she was going to throw up.

Before leaving for the vacation, Finlay made sure all the necessary reservations were made with Sunwing and even went as far as to give them the dimensions, weight and detail list of all her equipment and medical supplies.

She has now been without the wheelchair since Tuesday and mostly been stuck in bed. She started to ask herself what her life would look like without her wheelchair.

“How do I explain to my three year old that mom just got home from being away for a week and can’t play with you,” said Finlay.

Sunwing Travel Group responded to CityNews saying they are sorry and protocol was not followed by their staff.

“During the course of this investigation it has become apparent that inter-departmental miscommunications have meant that our usual high standards of customer care were not observed,” said Janine Chapman, Sunwing’s vice president of marketing.

Sunwing told CityNews they have now located the wheelchair and are returning it to Finlay tomorrow morning.

People who have disabilities should make airlines aware of their needs so that the airline will have time to provide assistance.