Mission 166

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Daytona, Florida

Williamsport, Pennsylvania

Friday January 6, 2012

Mission Report

Josh M is 29 year old and was attending seminary last year when he suddenly had a seizure. Tests then showed a heart-wrenching diagnosis of glioblastoma (brain cancer). After chemo and surgical treatments, he was told that without a miracle-his life expectancy was less than a year. After being cleared to go, He and his family decided to spend Christmas in Florida at Disney to help make a memorable last holiday with their girls, age 5, 3 and 1.

Just before getting on the plane in Pennsylvania he had some weakness on the right side of his body-same symptoms he’d had before his last seizure-but thankfully the seizure didn’t come while on the aircraft and they made it to sunny Florida.

However shortly after arriving his speech became slurred and he passed out. Tests at the local hospital showed a spinal fluid leak at the sight of his old surgery and he was helicoptered to a neurospecialty hospital at Daytona Beach. Another brain surgery was performed to close the source of the leak and Josh insisted that his girls get to see Disney while he was recovering.

Grace on Wings got the call to help get Josh back home from his Dad who is a pastor. He said their local church had raised the funds to fly Nellie (our aircraft) overnight and asked me to get volunteers together for a flight later in the week if Josh stabilized. As God would have it, Hal and I were already in Florida on a short vacation and our good friend and flight instructor is located there. Nurse/Medic Matt flew down to help.

The worrisome problem was that Josh had air in his brain from after the last surgery and the neurosurgeon spoke to our medical director Jim to figure out how much air would be ok. (air expands at altitude and may cause too much pressure on brain). They ended up going into his brain under CT guidance and drawing off as much air as he could the day before flight and when we arrived, he showed us how to do the procedure emergently if needed in flight. (that’s a first for us!)

Josh, his wife and his sweetheart one year old were loaded up on Nellie after many prayers where lifted up.

Thankfully, Josh did well during flight and no brain interventions where needed. His older daughters where there to see there daddy land and couldn’t wait to hug him. His hometown volunteer ambulance truck was there waiting for him too (so many people wanted to be on the truck-they had to take a vote!)

We crowed into the truck and prayed over him before they left. His daughter in pink coat is learning how important prayer is and my prayer for her and her sisters is if they loose their daddy here-that they’ll come to know the daddy that created them and whose love never changes.

Thanks to great team of Hal, Tom, Matt and Bob



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