(INSIDE EDITION) — A woman battling stage 4 colon cancer is thanking a Southwest Airlines employee who hand-delivered her misplaced luggage in the middle of the night to make sure she would have everything she needed for her chemotherapy treatment the next morning.
Stacy Hurt, 46, had taken an earlier flight home to Pittsburgh, Pa., at the last minute when she realized her luggage was loaded into the plane she had originally planned on boarding.
Inside her bags was medication for chemotherapy, in addition to good luck charms and other trinkets she has had since her cancer battle began in 2013.
“I thought about all the items in that suitcase that I needed for chemotherapy that next day,” Hurt told InsideEdition.com. “I’ve been through 50 chemotherapies so I certainly didn’t want to be without any of my comfort items because I’ve come so far.”
She called the airline, panicked, and began speaking with customer service representative Sarah Rowan, 27.
“She started telling me about how her important chemo medication was in there and she shared her story with me,” Rowan told InsideEdition.com. “This person is going through so much and for her to be so kind and wonderful, that’s just so rare. I connected to her right away.”
Rowan explained to Hurt she would watch for her bag and have the courier ship it out once it arrived in Pittsburgh, but when her luggage arrived at 2:30 am, hours after the last courier had left for the night, Rowan decided to take matters into her own hands.
With permission from her manager, Rowan took the bag with her at the end of the shift, and dropped it off at Hurt’s address that night instead of sending it out the following morning.
“In my head, it was a no-brainer,” Rowan explained. “I wanted her to get [her items] so badly. She didn’t say she needed it, but those are things that have been with her [for] her entire cancer journey.”
The following morning, Hurt was surprised see the luggage at her front door and a voicemail on her phone explaining Rowan had dropped it off in the middle of the night.
Tucked inside the bag was a note: “Kick that cancer’s butt.”
“That note and what she did, it just gave me this total boost to power through chemo [round] No. 51,” Hurt said.
She explained she was diagnosed with colon cancer two years ago. While there is no evidence of the disease in her body, Hurt is not in remission or cancer-free. She continues to undergo chemotherapy to maintain the status.
On top of the difficult battle against cancer, Hurt also takes care of her 11-year-old son, Emmett, who is disabled as a result of a rare chromosome abnormality.
“It would’ve been one thing to just deal with stage 4 colon cancer, but to be battling stage 4 colon cancer and be raising a profoundly disabled kid with special needs, it’s been extraordinarily difficult to handle both,” Hurt explained. “When other people have their treatments, they lay down and rest [but] I have to keep going. He’s completely dependent on us for his care.”
Hurt later posted a picture of the note Rowan left to Southwest Airlines’ Facebook page to thank her for the gesture.
The pair met for the first time after the photo went viral, and after a warm embrace, Hurt told Rowan she hoped they would be friends for life.
“I said to her, ‘When you get married one day, I’m going to be dancing at your wedding,’” Hurt said.