Lancaster Firefighter Brandon Peterson Stuck In Orlando

guys in front of Disney World fire station
Brandon with his Dad in front of fire station in Disney World. Photo credit Michael's Memories Facebook

Firefighter Brandon Peterson Battles Cancer From Orlando

UPDATE: Brandon Peterson passed away on 12/29 in Orlando, you can read more about Brandon in this beautiful tribute article. Brandon will arrive back in Texas on January 6, 2021 on Southwest Airlines Flight 381 at 3:10pm. He will be received in full FD honors by Dallas Fire Rescue, Lancaster FD and Mansfield Fire Rescue. The procession will leave Love Field and pass through Lancaster, passing by each fire station. We will then proceed to Mansfield on Interstate 20 to Hwy 360. We will exit Broad Street passing Mansfield Fire Station 3 and the Mansfield Public Safety Building. The procession will end at Blessing Funeral Home.

Please join us on bringing him back to Mansfield, Texas by viewing the procession on E. Broad St between Hwy 360 and Blessing Funeral Home. 

Brandon Peterson and his family’s dream trip to Walt Disney World started with smiles and Disney magic, but ended with a medical emergency and customer service issues with American airlines making a stressful situation worse.

Lancaster Fire Fighter Brandon Peterson is battling an aggressive type of lung cancer and was returning home to DFW after a few days at Disney World with his family. Michael’s Memories, a non-profit created by Michael Williams in 2011, to give firefighters the ability to “Getaway from Cancer,” made this trip possible for the Petersons.

On their first day Disney sprinkled a little magic by upgrading their rooms. Brandon shared on Facebook, “We asked the front desk if there was any possible way to get connecting rooms. Well Disney did what Disney does best…the connecting room to my parents room was a deluxe suite so we got moved into that room!”

After spending a few days in Florida experiencing Disney World, the Petersons were at Orlando’s airport on Christmas Eve ready to come home. However, Brandon experienced breathing issues prior to boarding and was transported by ambulance to Orlando Regional Medical Center. His mother, wife and children boarded their American Airlines flight and continued home, while his Dad stayed in Orlando with him.

The family asked American to please pull Eric’s bag off of the flight (Brandon’s Dad), so he’d have clothing and other personal items.

However, the staff told the family the bag was in a container and difficult to pull. They showed the gate agents their checked bag tags but his Mom shared “gate personnel refused to pull the bag because I could not confirm his tag was on his bag.” She continued, “His bag was extremely identifiable and should have been pulled. He is now in Orlando with no clothing and no phone charger.”

At a time when the family was in shock, they felt like American Airlines lacked compassion. Leann Peterson overheard a flight attendant ask the paramedics about the incident. She says the attendant said she was glad they didn’t have to deal with it, because he would have had to deplane. Those comments infuriated her more when she learned Brandon was in the ICU. However, even after they landed in DFW, American Airlines didn’t offer to send the bag back to Orlando for them.

Mrs. Peterson wanted to share that, “Orlando Regional Medical Center, MCO Fire Department, AMR, Orange County Fire Department, Reedy Creek Fire Department, Lancaster (Texas) Fire Department, Mansfield (Texas) Fire Department, Michael’s Memories Organization, and Southwest Airlines have all been so wonderful to us.”

Brandon’s wife and Mom have returned to Orlando via Southwest Airlines, as doctors work to stabilize Brandon so he can fly back to Dallas.

The family appreciates the continued prayers as they navigate Brandon’s medical treatment. Brandon is currently receiving antibiotics for a blood infection and being weaned off high flow oxygen. Doctors are working to stabilize him so he can fly home via private medical plane on Monday. He shared this on Facebook, “Please keep praying. I’m far from out of the woods, but I am improving. This is going to be a long tough battle, but one I plan on winning.”