When a little boy accidentally left his stuffed bear named Teddy on a flight from Dallas to New Orleans over the Thanksgiving holiday, he was crushed.
Grayson and his teddy bear did everything together.
His mom, Christina Mulligan, did what any mom would do. She tried to get Teddy back.
“I was in contact with all of the baggage claim, TSA, I think I called the lost and found repeatedly,” she told CNN. “Every time I called, they were like, ‘Is this about the bear?’”
She posted on the Southwest Airlines Facebook page asking for help. Maybe a flight attendant had seen him or another passenger on the plane had picked him up.
What she didn’t know at the time was that the New Orleans airport was overwhelmed with calls from employees and strangers. Everyone just trying to find Teddy.
“I freaked out,” Grayson Mulligan told CNN affiliate KTVT. “I play with him a lot,” he said. “I carry him around a lot.”
A month went by and still – nothing.
That’s until the end of December when Christina received a call from a corporate employee at Southwest Airlines, who told her that her post caught a lot of attention on private Southwest pages and even made its way to some executives.
Christina told CNN that apparently a flight attendant found Teddy on the plane and handed him off to somebody at the airport but after that he was nowhere to be found. Teddy never made it to the Lost and Found.
But Southwest had something else in store: a new bear with a story all his own.
“They said, ‘We’d love to give Grayson a new bear,’ and I was on board with it,” she said.
“I felt happy because I know they cared a lot about me,” Grayson told KTVT. “And I have some flight attendant bears too.”
He named his new bear Jack.
“Because he looked like a Jack to me,” he said.
And Jack had quite an adventure before getting to Grayson.
Christina shared the photos that Southwest sent to Grayson on her Facebook page. They showed Jack working on the tarmac at Dallas Love Field, inspecting cockpits, preparing the cabin for passengers, booking the flight, and yes, even standing in line.
“We love connecting people to what’s important in their lives, and our employees put their servant’s heart on display to help make Grayson’s day. We are proud to have played a small role in bringing Grayson and Jack together,” Southwest Airlines said in statement to CNN.
“This is his favorite airline,” she said. “Grayson’s even been to the facility with a pilot friend and has been in one of the flight simulators when he was four or five.”
When Grayson read Jack’s story, he cried.
“He said, ‘I’m getting a new bear,’ it was just so sweet,” Christina said.
“He’s always wanted to be a Southwest pilot,” she added. “They don’t even know that part.”