NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Officials project more than 29,000 travelers will show up at Nashville International Airport this Christmas weekend. That's about a 10 percent increase compared to last year.
Mario Slape and his wife, Alice, drove from Louisville to pick up his father, Henry.
"Back in February, he had broke his neck in a car accident," Slape said.
One night, Henry had hit a piece of black ice while driving in Texas causing him to lose control of his pickup. The 69-year-old was thankfully able to walk away. A few months later he would have to have surgery after learning five of his neck vertebrae were broken.
"Everything seemed to be alright but as we later found out, as time went on he was not alright. He was airlifted from New Mexico to Lubbock Texas to the university hospital there and had emergency surgery," Mario said.
Mario drove from Louisville to see his father recover in the hospital after surgery. He had not seen Henry walk without assistance since the accident. On Saturday, just days before Christmas would be the first time.
"Until we started talking, I didn't think of the significance of today," Mario laughed.
After hours of waiting, Mario and Alice picked up their Christmas gift and finally headed home.