John B is a 72 years old and from Macon, Georgia. Hewas determined to go to Sturgis Biker Rally this year with his friends. His daughter said his family wasn’t excited about it because he had been in a serious accident just last year on his bike.
But this was his dream and he had bought a brand new Triumph motorcycle for the event and worked for weeks to get the money to go.
The day after arriving into Sturgis South Dakota, he and his two best friends went for a ride to see what was going on and he caught some gravel and wrecked his bike-with it rolling over him. He was unconscious at the scene for 5 minutes then paramedics arrived and took him to Rapid City Regional. He was not wearing a helmet at the time and his head was injured. CT scan showed a large brain bleed and swelling and a broken jaw. He also had broken ribs and the day after his injury, he went into respiratory distress and was placed on the ventilator.
His friends would not leave his side for 6 days until his daughter arrived. She was only able to stay a few days and then had to return home to work. The lady that owned the campground asked if it was ok to sit with him some and would come by daily to talk with him while the family could not be there.
The daughter had known someone that flew “angel flights” and called to see if there was a way to get him home. She was told that only “Grace on Wings” would be able to do a charity flight for a person that injured and on ventilator. She called us and we gave her the donation we needed to fly him. They began fund raising and John’s biker friends all joined in with auctions, raffles and donations.
We flew out to Rapid City to get John and were once again able to fly around Mt Rushmore (so awesome!) before we landed. He was in full restraints when we arrived bedside and was yelling out nonsense words. His nurses looked happy to see him leaving (he’d been quite a character in his confused state with pulling out his IV’s and tubes.)
We gave him a little sedation and loaded him up for the airport. He took a big nap and we prayed over him and loaded him on Nellie-our aircraft.
We had to stop for fuel in St Louis and soon after take off- an F-18 aircraft came beside our right wing and “wagged” at us! We wagged our wings back (aviation way of saying hello) and thanked him for the fly by. Wow what an opportunity of a lifetime to see the military jet in the air from the air!
John began getting restless again about a half hour before landing and we didn’t want him to be sedated when we landed because all his biker buddies and family where going to meet him there. I knew he had recently been able to begin swallowing some things and I found a root beer sucker in my purse and stuck it in his mouth. That was amazing! He winked at me and began dancing to the music on the cot and holding my hand. I never knew candy could have that effect. When we arrived he was happy to see his friends and family.
His daughter Paula said within a few days at the rehab center he was able to recognize and have conversations with his visitors and is begging to go home. What a miracle! Her last email words were: “We thank you for what you do and thank God for bringing us to you. If you are ever in the area again please call and if you hear of someone in the Macon area that might need our help, let me know and we will let others know what all you did for us. Again thank you.”
Thanks to awesome flying especially around the black hills by Hal and Mark and by my medical support from medic Larry and ground support by new flight follower Polly.
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