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Laptop mixup at SLC airport leaves family hoping for miracle return of critical health information

Sep 29, 2023, 8:16 PM | Updated: 8:58 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — For all the reasons people visit Utah, the national parks, the skiing, the mountains, Margaret McIntyre couldn’t wait to get here.

“I have never been to Utah before,” she said. However, it wasn’t the outdoor recreation she was most excited about. Her daughter, Aoife, has a rare genetic disorder and is only one of four people chosen for a clinical trial being done at the University of Utah.

“I mean, we feel like we won the golden ticket,” she said.

“There are about fifty different kinds of leukodystrophies. The one she has is called vanishing white matter and there’s about 350 people in the world who have it,” McIntyre said.

The Salt Lake City International Airport is going to become a familiar place for them over the next two years since they live in Chicago. But as they were going home this past Wednesday, McIntyre lost her laptop while going through and didn’t even know it.

“Unfortunately, it wasn’t until we were on the plane when I pulled out my computer to do some work and realized I don’t have my computer,” she said. “I actually have someone else’s.”

McIntyre says she remembers during screening, the people helping with her daughter’s wheelchair said they took her laptop out of the bin and put it in her bag to help. It was an honest mistake since the two laptops look alike.

However, she really needs her laptop.

“It has everything to do with my daughter’s medical history. Her clinical trial. The information they need. All her health information,” she said. Some of that information is backed up, but not all of it.

She filled out a lost and found report with the airport, and even looked at pictures of some of the found items, but her laptop hasn’t turned up yet.

Her laptop, which is a grey 15-inch MacBook pro, is also locked, so whoever has it can’t open it without her password. The Acer brand computer she has is also locked, so she can’t find that owner.

McIntyre said she will be back in Utah in a couple of weeks and will bring that laptop to lost and found at the Salt Lake airport so perhaps the owner will find it. For now, though, with her missing laptop, she’s just hoping for a second miracle.

“All our photos from when she could walk and talk are on that laptop,” she said. “It is kind of heart-breaking.”

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Laptop mixup at SLC airport leaves family hoping for miracle return of critical health information