Canadian air carrier WestJet Airlines prepared a sentimental surprise for a separated family as an early Father's Day gift. In collaboration with Ronald McDonald charity house, the airline company reunited Marc Grimard with his young son Joel.
The video introduces one of WestJet’s employees Medel Villena who stepped in to take Marc’s job for a week, enabling him to visit his son hospitalized in Edmonton.
Four-year-old Joel Grimand is battling a congenital heart condition tricuspid atresia. While he is being treated at the Stollery Children’s Hospital, his father and brother live hundreds of miles away in Saskatoon where dad works and the older sibling goes to school.
After being surprised with free tickets and a five-day break from work, an emotional Marc said, “I don’t have the words to say how grateful I am, just a big huge thank you and very much appreciated."
“Enriching the lives of everyone in the WestJet world is in our DNA,” said Richard Bartrem, WestJet Vice-President, Communications and Community Relations. “The chance to work with our WestJet Cares for Kids partner Ronald McDonald House Charities and local WestJetters to give the Grimard family quality time together is just one way we can demonstrate how caring makes a difference.”
WestJet has donated 575 flights to Ronald McDonald House since 2007. The company has also promised to donate one more flight for every 100,000 views to a maximum of 500,000. This may potentially reunite five more families.