Purcell was taken out to the tarmac in her
wheelchair and wheeled up to the passenger
boarding stairs for Flight 2612 by an airport
worker. Purcell then asked the worker if a ramp
or lift was going to be provided, as she was
unable to walk up the stairs and into the
The worker indicated that there was a lift but
it was not close by and that there was no time
to get it and that the passengers has to board
the aircraft immediately. At that time, Purcell
was wearing a cast on her ankle, which made it
impossible for her to walk.
As a result of American Airlines not providing
the required lift or ramp, Purcell had to make a
decision, staying or getting onto that flight.
As a result, Purcell crawled up the passengers
stairway, as she was crawling up the stairs,
Purcell slipped on the third step and almost
tumbled down the stairway. This happened a
couple of times, Purcell eventually made it to
the top of the stairs and into the aircraft. To
add insult to injury, once in the aircraft,
Purcell had to crawl to her seat.