Mission 168

Mission 167 | View All Mission Reports | Mission 169

Departure:
Houston, Texas

Arrival:
Indianapolis, Indiana

Date:
Wednesday January 25, 2012

Mission Report

Mission 168 began for me in an unusual way on December 28, 2011 around 6 pm when Melissa,
a physician’s rounding nurse at Kosciusko Community Hospital, called and left me a voicemail
and for me to return her call to her cell phone. I gave myself a couple minutes to get woke up as I
was in bed (I was recovering from a shift in the Intensive Care Unit the night before). I played
the message again with a pad of paper and pen in hand to transcribe her phone number and called
her back.

Melissa informed that she has a friend Marcie who is an emergency nurse and her husband Steve
are at MD Anderson in Houston, Texas receiving treatment for Philadelphia Positive Leukemia
and he got a second adult stem cell transplant after the first one failed at IU Medical Center.
Steve and Marcie need relocated back home to Indiana.

Melissa had heard about Grace On
Wings and thought to contact me to see if GOW could assist in getting Steve back to IU Medical
Center. Melissa gave Marcie my contact information and she called me within 20 minutes. I gave
Marcie GOW’s website and phone number. I also notified Hal and Tam of the situation and I
removed myself as the go between.

We were a go for the mission a couple of times previously to the mission completion date;
however, Steve developed bleeds in his head and was also experiencing seizures which made
him unstable for flight. Finally, Steve’s attending physician agreed that he was stable enough to
return to Indiana. Steve and Marcie were more than ready to return to IU Medical Center where
they have high trust in their physicians and other staff.

Marcie asked me to be available to flight her husband. I told her that I could not promise
anything but that I would do my best to be available. I frequently make trade with other nurses to
become available for a mission. I usually work in ICU but I also cover in the Emergency
Department and the week of this mission I am working in both departments. Three nurses
graciously cover multiple shifts in each department for me to become available to complete this
mission. Many other individuals sacrificed to accommodate a mission. I am sure that this is not
unusual for all those serving with Grace On Wings.

On the day previous to the mission up day, Marcie filmed Steve and posted it to Facebook.
Marcie asked Steve if he was returning to Indiana and he said, “Well, yeah, tomorrow!!” Steve
also said that miracles were happening and closed the film by say goodbye guys I love you.
Steve is extremely sick with opportunistic viral infections due to him not having an immune
system. The stem cell transplant this time has also failed and he is also experiencing liver and
kidney failure from host versus graft disease.

During Steve’s most recent course of illness, Marcie needed income and she started working in a
local emergency room in Texas. She got an apartment and their two teenage children visited.
Later they found out his total medical bill was over one million dollars while at MD Anderson
alone. Thankfully, he has medical insurance!!

On January 25, 2012 we were able to complete Mission 168. January 25 was a bad weather day.
Houston had extremely bad storms to include flooding and at least three recorded tornadoes. We
had to circumnavigate the weather but we safely made it to Houston to pickup Steve. During the
return trip to Indiana we followed the storms.

On January 29, 2012 Steve went home to be with Jesus. I was able to attend Steve’s viewing on
Saturday, February 4th, 2012. I meet his two children Alex and Steve. Marcie introduced me as
“the Angel who is a nurse that flew Steve home to Indiana”. They all had tears and we all
exchanged hugs.

I made it clear that we serve for one reason to bring glory to God through Jesus
Christ. Steve and his family have a huge support network of people behind them during his four year
battle with this disease. People posted on Facebook about Steve loosing his battle but from
my vantage point he fought hard and did not loose his battle because I believe that he did know
Jesus.

Matt

 

Click Photo To View