MOUNTAIN HOME, Idaho — Jessa Love is 6 years old. She looks like your typical happy little girl, but Jessa is a true warrior.
The Mountain Home girl battled leukemia for over two years. She was diagnosed just days before her fourth birthday. She spent 113 days in the hospital, had 61 chemotherapy infusions, and 21 spinal taps.
After a grueling two years of treatment, Jessa had the chance to ring the bell at St. Luke's on her 6th birthday in August of 2022. Her mom is so proud.
"She defeated a lot of odds, and she is here today, and she finally gets to experience life just like any other kid," Jessa's mom, Laura Smith said with a smile.
The past year has been incredible for Jessa. She has been so busy making up for lost time. She got to go back to school last year, and this summer she has been regaining the childhood she lost. Her mom tells us she mastered her cartwheel, is swimming without her floatie, and is now jumping off the highest ladder at the pool. She will be 7 next month.
This summer has also been special for another reason. Jessa got to go on her Make-A-Wish Idaho trip to Disneyworld.
"I liked the Avatar rides the best," Jessa said.
It was the trip of a lifetime. She loved every minute of it. When it was time to fly home to Idaho, something really special happened.
"On our last flight from Las Vegas to Boise, we just had an incredible crew," Smith said.
One of the Southwest flight attendants heard about Jessa beating cancer and had big plans for her.
"He had let my mom know that he wanted to pull Jessa up to the front of the plane and do a little announcement," Smith said.
That's just what he did. When the flight was getting ready to land in Boise, he called Jessa up near the cockpit. The flight attendant announced to everyone onboard that Jessa had beat cancer and wished her well in the future.
"He also said keep your head up, keep your chin up, and keep fighting," Jessa said.
Then she got a huge round of applause from all the passengers.
"It was just an incredible experience, just having that many people, that many strangers, love your child in that moment. They were so proud of her and wanted the best for her," Smith said. "It's a memory that we will always remember, and we will never forget the flight crew and the passengers that were on that flight that day. It was just the perfect way to end Jessa's journey and to end her whole trip."
Little did Laura and Jessa know that memorable flight was just the beginning. Laura made a TikTok of what happened, and that video of Jessa and the flight attendant went viral all over the country! It spread like wildfire on social media, Southwest Airlines shared it, and it was even featured on NBC's Today Show.
"It's been crazy watching this whole thing blow up," Smith said. "I never expected it to go as far as it did, but I'm glad it did. It just reassures that there are people who still believe in kindness and love and miracles, and that's what Jessa is, she's a miracle."
A miracle who has inspired her family and friends, her community, and now, the world.
"I'm excited to see how many lives this video continues to touch, and how many people continue to be moved by Jessa," Smith said.
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