Theodore's World: TSA Pat -Down Leaves Bladder Cancer Survivor Humiliated and Covered In Urine

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November 21, 2010

TSA Pat -Down Leaves Bladder Cancer Survivor Humiliated and Covered In Urine

Thomas Sawyer, 61, said he was left "humiliated" and covered in urine after undergoing a TSA pat-down.

TSA pat-down leaves traveler covered in urine

'I was absolutely humiliated,' said bladder cancer survivor

MSNBC Travel News

A retired special education teacher on his way to a wedding in Orlando, Fla., said he was left humiliated, crying and covered with his own urine after an enhanced pat-down by TSA officers recently at Detroit Metropolitan Airport.

“I was absolutely humiliated, I couldn’t even speak,” said Thomas D. “Tom” Sawyer, 61, of Lansing, Mich.

Sawyer is a bladder cancer survivor who now wears a urostomy bag, which collects his urine from a stoma, or opening in his stomach. “I have to wear special clothes and in order to mount the bag I have to seal a wafer to my stomach and then attach the bag. If the seal is broken, urine can leak all over my body and clothes.”

On Nov. 7, Sawyer said he went through the security scanner at Detroit Metropolitan Airport. “Evidently the scanner picked up on my urostomy bag, because I was chosen for a pat-down procedure.”

Due to his medical condition, Sawyer asked to be screened in private. “One officer looked at another, rolled his eyes and said that they really didn’t have any place to take me,” said Sawyer. “After I said again that I’d like privacy, they took me to an office.”

Sawyer wears pants two sizes too large in order to accommodate the medical equipment he wears. He’d taken off his belt to go through the scanner and once in the office with security personnel, his pants fell down around his ankles. “I had to ask twice if it was OK to pull up my shorts,” said Sawyer, “And every time I tried to tell them about my medical condition, they said they didn’t need to know about that.”

…“One agent watched as the other used his flat hand to go slowly down my chest. I tried to warn him that he would hit the bag and break the seal on my bag, but he ignored me. Sure enough, the seal was broken and urine started dribbling down my shirt and my leg and into my pants.”

The security officer finished the pat-down, tested the gloves for any trace of explosives and then, Sawyer said, “He told me I could go. They never apologized. They never offered to help. They acted like they hadn’t seen what happened. But I know they saw it because I had a wet mark.”

Humiliated, upset and wet, Sawyer said he had to walk through the airport soaked in urine, board his plane and wait until after takeoff before he could clean up.


Wild Thing's comment......

Another horrible example of ordinary people being humiliated in public by TSA thugs. My heart goes out to this man. God bless this man. Prayers that he soon has better days.

Also these TSA guys are clueless of medical equipment and devices. People wear catheters, colostomy bags, etc. and the TSA evidently haven’t briefed their employees about them.

There’s lots of people with pacemakers, medicine pumps, colostomy bags, urostomy bags, suprapubic catheters, etc. They’re going to spend all their time on the people with medical devices and have no time for “real” terrorists.

Posted by Wild Thing at November 21, 2010 05:50 AM


If Congress doesn't step in fast and take control of this situation, the excrement is going to hit the overhead air recirculating device. This crap is getting out of hand.

Posted by: BobF at November 21, 2010 09:38 AM

I read this story earlier and cannot believe the stupidity and insensitivity of the TSA people.You would think that somewhere along the line, the idea of common sense has to enter the picture.

This type of stuff is what you get when you become so Politically Correct that your thought processes are paralyzed.

Want better Airportr Security? Profile!!!! Ask anyone in Law Enforcement, it is not only the best way it is the only way.

Maybe if they started doing it that way, some of the members of the groups being profiled would step up and help solve the problem. I'm talking the folks at CAIR for starters.

Posted by: Sean at November 21, 2010 11:08 AM

Ignorant retards who reflect left/liberal prejudices about how stupid military/police people are supposed to be-- they don't get a crap about anything but lunch and pushing people who don't have power around.

Posted by: Anonymous at November 21, 2010 12:23 PM

You can't tell me this is not done by design, another leading industry to fall by the way side. Soon we will be last in the world instead of first.

Posted by: Mark at November 21, 2010 01:37 PM

Bob, I bet this will be a top item for our side, I sure hope they can do something about it.

Posted by: Wild Thing at November 21, 2010 06:51 PM

Sean, I am going to use is a great way of saying how they behave and think.
I agree Sean with your take on this too.

"Politically Correct that your thought processes are paralyzed"

Posted by: Wild Thing at November 21, 2010 06:53 PM

Anonymous, your right, the calilber of those hired is not like what others have to go through for security places if it was we would not be seeing this kind of treatment for one thing.

Posted by: Wild Thing at November 21, 2010 06:56 PM

Mark, I really believe that and what you said that it is by design is the absolute thing behind this. Bush put it into effect but nothing like Obama's Homeland Security has done, not to this degree. Obama like you have stated is about control, or our lives in each area.

Posted by: Wild Thing at November 21, 2010 07:01 PM