INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – A mother was reunited with her sick son after financial difficulties kept them apart for nearly two months. The reunion was all thanks to a non-profit organization based out of Indianapolis: Grace on Wings.
Stacy describes her family’s life as “many bad things just seem to happen to us.” She is mom to Lincoln, a two year old that was born premature with multiple organ problems that lead to a pancreas, liver and small bowel transplant surgery at UCLA. She has two other small children and her husband, a Marine who has done 4 tours of duty in Iraq, was searching for a way to be near them. They heard about a new program where he could “retire” from the Marines and enter the Army with same seniority and it would allow him to stay near his family. After going through the paperwork to end his Marine career, he unfortunately found out the Army had decided to stop the program and that left them to consider what to do next.
Dad decided to go back to college and since Lincoln was doing better and spending time at home-they decided to relocate to Indiana, closer to family and also where Riley hospital could do his transplant followup. After selling their house in California and packing to drive to Indiana, Lincoln began to spike a fever. Within hours he was on a ventilator for a severe infection and was fighting again for his life.
After he stabilized, the rest of the family made the trip to Indiana for dad to start school. They traveled back to visit Lincoln twice but their money had run out and they had no way of getting Lincoln to their new home exempt by air ambulance. California state-based insurance denied paying for his trip.
That’s when the team at Riley told them about Grace on Wings and the state of Indiana said they would cover the cost of the flight. The problem with that is that state funding usually takes months and we are just a small budget operation. Cost to run our aircraft that far was $17,000! That’s a lot of money to put on credit.
But without faith in God’s provision-we wouldn’t be able to do any missions, and our board decided to do the flight. Stacy flew out with us and my heart broke for her when she mentioned her concerns that Lincoln wouldn’t recognize her (it had been six weeks since her last visit.) After all she and her husband had sacrificed for our country, I was so glad God had chose us to bring hope and love to this hurting military family.
Baby Lincoln and his fight had touched so many nurses and staff at UCLA and they were all there to say goodbye with hugs and tears. Lincoln only says a few words but he did offer them a “bye-bye”.
He had some breathing issues in flight but overall did very well and we arrived to his new extended “family” at Riley hospital. Welcome home Lincoln!
So many people came together to serve this family! Thank you to Chris, Nancy and transplant team at UCLA and accepting team at Riley, Gloria at Indiana Child Services foundation, ambulance team donated by Prompt Care from Lafayette, Wish TV Channel 8, my wonderful staff of flight nurse Julie Petty and respiratory therapist Matt Willard, flight followers Mike Ford and Bob Obma, and awesome pilots Hal and Mark Summers.
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