Mission 119

Mission 118 | View All Mission Reports | Mission 120

Departure:
West Palm Beach, Florida

Arrival:
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Date:
Tuesday March 15, 2011

Mission Report

Wow it was like Christmas-New Nellie!! She is zooming now 380 mph and now she can get up over most of weather at 25000 feet! And to top that (as only God can do) we have new donated Bose headsets with noise canceling, blue tooth to use as phone on ground, and (my favorite) we can plug in our Itunes!

Elmer L is a 92 year old who retired to live in Florida with his wife. His heath has been failing and he recently was hospitalized for congestive heart failure and wasn’t expected to recover, but graciously had made it out of the hospital to a nursing home. His family longed to get him back to Pennsylvania to be cared for with his elderly wife (who was having trouble caring for herself at home). His son flew down to Florida to help make the move and Grace on Wings with new Nellie was ready for the mission. When we arrived it was the first time I had both patient and his wife tell me they were “nervous” to fly on an airplane (?birds of a feather?) I smiled thinking about their combined years and what they must have experienced together-what was a little airplane ride??

As I evaluated Elmer medically, I became concerned about the Edema in his legs and fluid on his lung. He actually only had half a lung on the L side from a previous surgery and it appeared his heart wasn’t pumping well. These problems could easily be worsened with altitude. I discussed the situation with his son and he told me that Elmer’s final wishes where to get home and more importantly to him, get his wife home-even if he didn’t survive the flight. I contacted our medical director and medication was ordered to help his kidney’s get some of the fluid off his lungs.

During the flight he required a lot of “attention” initially and when his breathing rate went over 30- I wasn’t sure how he would do. His son told him that his daughter and many family and friends were tracking the flight and praying for him.

After we landed safely in the Pittsburg rain, I was sure he had done better than expected due to his (and our) large family and friends prayer-warrior team. We checked him into a nursing center, where his wife could also be in “assisted living” and near to him.

I received an email today from his daughter stating that when they went to visit him yesterday, he was sitting up in his wheelchair eating lunch in the dining room! What a miracle for a man that only a month ago, wasn’t expected to survive the night.

Thanks to expert flying by Hal and DJ (into fog/rain “minimums” that reminded me how to pray), and to great care by medic Glenn.

Tam

 

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