ATLANTA — A video art director from Flowery Branch who journeyed to Kolkata, India on a movie assignment will finally get the chance to come home soon.
India was hit by COVID-19 with a vengeance. Borders were closed, and airline travel came to a virtual standstill. Foreigners were stopped in their tracks with few if any options to get out of the country.
Sarah Fic, a movie art director, has been on assignment in Kolkata for almost six months trying to get home to Georgia, 8,500 miles away.
”It was chaotic, and it got to a point where it was about hopeless. I just felt like I was starting to think I was going to be here forever, and I reached a point where I’ve lost hope,” she said in a Zoom interview from Kolkata.
11Alive shared her story a few weeks ago. There is a special reason why she eagerly wants to get home.
Her mom, Lisa Robbins is a cancer patient and her brother Josh has Down Syndrome and autism. Their caregiver recently left, and Fic knew it was urgent to get to Flowery Branch.
After learning of Fic's dilemma, 11Alive stepped in. We reached out to senior executives at United Airlines in Chicago as they have maintained flights from India to the U.S. We explained Fic's frustrating efforts to get home.
In less than 24 hours, United's senior executive in India personally called Fic and things started happening.
“I received an email from him and then we spoke on the phone that he had booked a flight for me to return to the U.S. next week. I will leave here on September 3 and will arrive in the U.S. on September 4. I am a bit blown away and it seems a bit surreal that I am going to wake up from a dream,” Fic said.
“This is the first time I am feeling some hope that I will be able to get home to my mom and my brother in months,” she added.
Fic still can't imagine it all happened within days after waiting nearly six months.
“It has been so overwhelming because I just did not expect it would happen so quickly and everything I've been waiting for since March and all of a sudden over a 2 to 3-day period of time,I was just shocked,” she added
Her mom and brother plan to be at Hartsfield-Jackson when she arrives next Friday for what will be quite a joyous reunion.
Since the pandemic virtually closed India in March, United Airlines has worked with the Indian government and the U.S. State Department to provide reparation flights from India to the United States. Fic is now on one of those flights.