407-Pound Woman Vilma Soltesz Dies After Being Denied Flights Home [VIDEO]
Vilma Soltesz, a 407-pound woman, died after being denied several flights home from Europe, according to her attorney. The 56-year-old died of kidney failure in Hungary after her and her husband took a trip to their vacation home and was denied a flight home on three separate occasions when trying to get back into the states to get medical attention.
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The couple initially flew from New York City to Budapest on KLM airlines, and the 407-pound Vilma Soltesz, who had one leg, needed an airlift to get on the flight and used a seatbelt extender as well. However, other than those accommodations, the couple's lawyer said they had "no issues at all" with the flight. The way back, however, was different.
"KLM asked them when they would be flying home so that they could make proper arrangements," Holly Ostrov-Ronai., the couple's attorney, said, according to Yahoo! News.
However, when the couple tried to take their October 15 flight back to New York, they boarded, but were asked to disembark because Vilma could not be secured to do a faulty seat back.
"There was simply no legitimate reason in this instance for denying her boarding or forcing her to disembark," Ostrov-Ronai said. "Their failure to make simple accommodations, that had been made prior, led to Vilma's death. This is not best efforts in any regard."
The couple waited for five hours and were then advised to drive to Prague, where they could catch a bigger plane. However, Delta airlines did not have a wheelchair that could support her or an airlift to help her into the plane.
"Despite a determined good-faith effort by Delta in Prague, we were also physically unable to board her on our aircraft on Oct. 16. For this reason there was never an issue with the use of seat belt extenders," Delta spokesman Russel Cason said, according to Good Morning America.
The couple then drove back to Hungary where they boarded a plane, but were again forced to disembark.
"After several time-consuming attempts it was decided that for the safety of this passenger and the over 140 fellow passengers, Lufthansa had to deny transportation of the passenger," Lufthansa Airlines said in a statement. "In order to avoid further delays which would have resulted in missed connections and severe inconvenience for other customers on board, this decision was unavoidable."
Two days later, Vilma Soltesz died.
"Janos [Vilma's husband] is heartbroken," Ostrov-Ronai said. "The only thing that keeps him going day to day is that he wants justice for what was done to Vilma and to try to make sure this doesn't happen to anyone else in the future."
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