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Claustrophobic Mom Tries To Find Disney Employee Who Helped Her Get Through Panic Attack.

As a parent, you know that your child is watching everything you do and hearing everything you say. This is why you filter your words and carry yourself in a way that sets an example for your child, hoping they only pick up on the best habits.

Jessica Thomas works hard to manage her claustrophobia and anxiety at all times. She hopes that by doing this her two children don’t develop the same fears because she never wants these things to get in the way of enjoying life with them.


One of the places Jessica has the most difficulty is at theme parks. The small amount of space on rides really sets off her anxiety. In fact, the mom says she hates most all rides because they often cause her to “have severe panic attacks”. She’s comfortable with missing out and says, “at 33, I don’t mind missing rides at parks. I am happy to take the stairs. I am always content to wait for the next bus or for a tight spot to pass for a more open option.”

Still, she planned an epic Disney vacation for her family because she wanted her two kids to experience the fun and the magic. Jessica typically uses different coping strategies to manage her claustrophobia and does just fine with it. However, when it was her family’s turn to get on the Na’vi River Journey ride at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, things suddenly went awry.

Theme Park Tourist

As soon as she got on the ride the panic set in. Soon, it got to be too much for her so she decided to get off. Her one-year-old cried as soon as she saw her mommy get off the ride, so with tears in her eyes, she picked her up as well, feeling defeated and embarrassed as she walked away. Then, an employee named Samantha showed genuine concern and asked Jessica what happened. After hearing the story, Samantha offered to ride with Jessica and her daughter.

According to Jessica,

“[Samantha] walked over with me and my baby to the front row. She not only held my hand the entire time but she also pointed out every single exit to me, told me about the all the ways I was safe and how the cast members could come get me out if any of my worst fears came true. *Here is where she is an out right Godsend* While she was helping me through this, she simultaneously pointed out every detail of fun for my little girl and didn’t miss a beat.”


Jessica was so touched by Samantha’s kindness and compassion that she shared the story on her Facebook page. She tagged Disney, filled the status with hashtags, and asked everyone to share the story so that Samantha would eventually get the attention and credit she deserves.

Thanks to the power of social media, the story is certainly spreading. Thousands of people are sharing Jessica’s status across a variety of platforms, and everyone hopes to ultimately identify the sweet employee who truly went above and beyond.


Help spread the word and share this with your friends so that Samantha can get the recognition she deserves!

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