A mother’s dream trip to Paris turned into a nightmare after her 32-year-old daughter was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer months before they were set to leave and to add Air France has refused to refund their tickets to add to the difficulty and heartbreak.

Patricia Dugas and her daughter Tina Dugas had been eagerly planning the trip to their favorite city to celebrate Patricia’s birthday. They had been saving money and working extra jobs to go. They were set to leave in May and in March, they found out Tina had been diagnosed with stomach cancer.

“She was diagnosed in March and got progressively worse and died May 18,” Dugas said. “It was very rapid.”

Patricia adopted her daughter from Ukraine when she was just 3 years old, and it was just the two of them.

“We were very close, and I just remember the love she had for me and the love I had for her,” Dugas said while fighting back tears. “I know I will see her again someday, but right now, it’s so tough, and I am so sorry she suffered so much.”

On top of the pain of suddenly losing her only child, she has been going back and forth with Air France since her daughter was diagnosed with cancer, unable to get a refund for the planned trip.

“The last four months have been so horrible because I have been dealing with doctors, insurance companies, and my daughter is dying in the next room, and now that she is gone, I am dealing with cleaning out her apartment, closing bank accounts and all those things,” Dugas said. “It’s heart-wrenching, it’s heart-wrenching. I, of course, have cried on the phone and just want my money back because she’s gone.

Together the flights were $3,600. Patricia said they did not pay for refundable tickets or have insurance because they never expected her 32-year-old daughter to pass suddenly. Given the rare circumstances, she believes her daughter’s plane ticket should be refunded in full.

“I think the money is not the issue right now,” Dugas said. “At this point, it’s just about what is right.”

Dugas has sent countless emails, including her daughter’s death certificate, but still, the airline has not fully refunded her daughter’s ticket. Instead, they refunded the tax on her ticket and offered the grieving mother a voucher for hers, which she had yet to receive.

“It’s gut-wrenching. I have no way else to describe it,” Patricia said. “I think it’s grossly unfair to be treated like this.”

She is determined to keep fighting for what she believes and get her daughter’s ticket fully refunded along with the voucher she was promised for her ticket.

She hopes to revisit Paris one day, where she and her daughter shared many cherished moments.

“Her spirit was very bright. Everybody said she was just so happy,” Patricia said.

Friends and family set up a GoFundMe to help assist Tina’s mother from the medical expenses.

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