Two airlines this weekend declined to fly Miranda Goranflo and her daughter Hailey to Beijing, where the 5-year-old was to receive stem-cell treatments for a rare fatal disease, the Courier-Journal reported.
The airlines, Air China and Air Canada, decided during a layover in Vancouver, British Columbia, that Hailey was "too sick" to fly this weekend. After being treated at a Vancouver hospital for seizures, the girl and her mother were forced to fly home to Shepherdsville, Ky., the report said.
"I'm completely distraught," Goranflo, who disagreed that her daughter was unfit to fly, told the Courier-Journal from Vancouver. "I cannot believe we've come this far and we have to come home."
Hailey and her 3-year-old brother Carter suffer from an incurable disorder called Late Infantile Batten Disease. The disease causes seizures, dementia, and blindness. Most sufferers don’t make it beyond the age of 12. Hailey can no longer walk, talk or eat without a feeding tube, the report said.
Batten disease is relatively rare and occurs in an estimated 2 to 4 of every 100,000 live births in the United States, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
After raising $78,000, Hailey's parents planned to take her to China for an experimental stem-cell treatment that is not offered in the U.S.