Girl, 3, Stranded at Airport, Almost Misses Life-Saving Surgery

An British family spent four days at Orlando International Airport and arrived back in the U.K. just in time for their 3-year-old daughter’s life-saving operation.

Alan and Margaret-Ann Maxwell’s daughter, Carmen, had been diagnosed with a rare condition that left her with tumors on her brain, neck, chest, arms, legs and feet, the BBC reported Wednesday. The family was scheduled to fly home to Dullatur last Saturday, but was stuck in the U.S. because of the volcanic ash air travel ban.

"Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday we were kind of living at the airport," Alan Maxwell said.

Carmen’s surgery at Great Ormond Street Hospital was scheduled to be a pioneering surgical technique to remove her tumors, and reduce her pain.

The Maxwells were given priority by airline staff to make sure they could make it back in time for the operation, and they made it home safely.

"We're very, very lucky to be back, because there are hundreds of people still there who couldn't get on the flight," Alan said.

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