Heart patient demands apology from TSA

WOAI Texas

A heart patient from Converse is demanding an apology from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

Ora Blake, 70, claims a worker at San Antonio International Airport ignored her medical condition. Blake claims the officer subjected her to security screening that could have jeopardized her health.

“I’ve just been through hell,” said Blake.

Blake says her problems all started September 1, 2010 when a TSA officer at San Antonio International Airport would not allow her to go through special medical screening for her heart condition.

“I said I’ve got a pacer, and I showed him,” said Blake.  “I said I want to go through medical screening. I always go through medical screening.”

Blake, who’s had a pacemaker for six years, says she has always been able to bypass the large magnetic scanners at the airport, until that day. Blake says she believes the scanner she was directed to walk through caused her pacemaker to act-up.

“When they said to me that I didn’t look good, I was just holding my heart, I was breathless, and perspiring.”

Blake complained to the TSA. A letter she says she received from a Senior Advisor of Field Operations shows someone looked into the problem and determined there was miscommunication between Blake and the officer. Blake says the explanation doesn’t cut it.

“In my mind’s eye, there was no investigation, because they didn’t ask me my side,” said Blake.

A TSA spokeswoman told News 4 WOAI security lanes at the airport are equipped with a gate for those passengers with disabilities. She says passengers with medical needs should inform the officers.

The TSA did offer an apology to Blake in its letter. However, Blake says that isn’t helping the ongoing health problems she’s developed. She says she wants an apology from the San Antonio staff she dealt with that morning in September.

The Transportation Security Administration is making special cards available to help people with medical needs communicate those issues to TSA workers at the screening points.

Scridb filter