AirAsia flight attendant was living her 'dream'

Family mourns daughter lost in plane crash
Family mourns daughter lost in plane crash


    Family mourns daughter lost in plane crash


Family mourns daughter lost in plane crash 01:58

Story highlights

  • Khairunisa Haidar Fauzi died in the crash of AirAsia Flight QZ8501
  • Her parents say she loved her job and loved traveling
  • They say she was obedient, tidy, and loved by her friends

Surabaya, Indonesia (CNN)They seemed strong and resilient, hiding their grief and fatigue with smiles, and even a laugh or two. "They are tough parents," said our local producer, Jamal. But they are just one of 162 families going through the darkest of days.

Haidar Fauzi and his wife, Rohana, learned Friday they had lost their daughter, Khairunisa Haidar Fauzi, in the crash of AirAsia Flight QZ8501 Dec. 28.
    Nisa, as she is known affectionately by her family, had worked as an AirAsia flight attendant for the past couple of years. Her father says she was living her dream.
    "She loved this, her dream, she loved traveling. To become flight attendant she could travel for free," Haidar says.
    The body of Khairunisa "Nisa" Haidar Fauzi, a flight attendant on  AirAsia Flight QZ8501, was identified in part from her flight uniform and pin.
    Nisa's adventurous spirit, her mother says, took her hundreds of miles away from the family home in Sumatra. Still, Rohana says, Nisa called her every day -- including the night before she boarded the fateful flight.
    Nisa always told her mother when and where she was flying. But that night, for some reason, she didn't.
    "We were on our way to a wedding ceremony," Haidar says. "My relatives called me and they asked, 'Where did Nisa fly?' I said, 'Why are you asking that question?'"
    In their hotel room in Surabaya, her mother and father's eyes light up as they look at dozens of pictures Nisa posted to her Instagram account. They are proud of their daughter and her ambitions, Haidar and Rohanna say, saying she just wanted to please her family.
    "She's an obedient daughter. She is always tidy. She loves to learn. Lots of her friends love her," Haidar says. "Same as her dad," her mother adds.
    Nisa's two older brothers, Dayat and Ikhsan, look on. Cousins Didi and Echy are not far away. We also catch a glimpse of Nisa's boyfriend, Divo, quiet and looking forlorn. A recent picture Nisa posted was a note to him that read, "I Love You, From 38,000 Feet."
    But even in the face of such loss, the family's strength shines through. Nisa's father says her brother had wanted to follow in her footsteps and travel the world. If he still wants to fly, Haidar says, he will support that decision.
    Our interview is suddenly cut short by a phone call. Seven days of waiting have come to an end. "We need to go now," their caregiver from AirAsia says.
    We squeeze into the elevator with the family. Echy holds Rohana's hand tight, while Haidar stares ahead silently. Minutes later they are in a taxi, speeding toward the police hospital.
    A short time later, the family stands at attention as casket No. 4 is carried out of the police hospital. No longer just a number, but their daughter. Their Nisa. She was still wearing her AirAsia uniform when she was found.
    After a short, solemn ceremony, the family heads home. They've already made plans to lay their daughter to rest as quickly as possible.
    AirAsia Chief Executive Tony Fernandes, will accompany them. I cannot describe how I feel. There are no words," he writes on his Twitter account.
    Khairunisa Haidar Fauzi was 22.