It appears that TSA agents at Seattle-Tacoma Airport were convinced Michelle Dunaj, a woman dying of leukemia, meant to do them harm, which is why they did things like ruin her medicine and lift her shirt to show them her feeding tubes. "A machine couldn't get a reading on her saline bags, so a TSA agent forced one open, contaminating the fluid she needs to survive," reports Joel Moreno who writes for Eugene, Oregon's KVAL-TV—a CBS affiliate. "She says agents also made her lift up her shirt and pull back the bandages holding feeding tubes in place. Dunaj needs those tubes because of organ failure," adds Moreno. Dunaj herself said that she checked with Alaska Airlines ahead of time because she knew that her saline bags and her medicine might pose a problem for screeners. TSA screeners of late, seem to really enjoy patting down non-threats like Dunaj. TSA screeners aren't afraid to say, pat down a seven-year-old with cerebral palsy, detain an 18-month-old, or find anomalies in the crotch of The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg's 79-year-old mother in law.
While Dunaj planned and packed her medicine and saline bags accordingly, she didn't plan to go through an embarrassing pat-down in front of other passengers during what may be one of the last trips of her life. "Officers are trained to perform pat downs in a dignified manner and, at any point, passengers can request a private screening with a witness present," TSA spokesperson Ann Davis said in Moreno's report, but Dunaj said those requests were denied.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.