Bryan C is a 55 years old and was diagnosed as a teenager with a malformation of where the skull attaches to the neck/spinal cord (Arnold-Chiari Syndrome). He began to have trouble running and severe headaches.
He has been treated at a specialty center in New York because of the rarity of his condition. He finally consented to undergoing complete reconstruction of the base of skull/upper neck 3 weeks ago in hopes to decrease his pain and improve his walking and independence.
Unfortunately he had a stroke after the 14 hour of surgery and then suffered from pneumonia. The complications left him bed-bound but completely alert. He began to lose hope of ever getting home to see his family and became so depressed that he even wanted to end his life.
His mom and sister were trying to find a way to get Bryan back to Indiana for rehab when their family discovered Grace on Wings. They were shocked at the level of care we provide and all as a Christian Mission. When his mom Joan just heard our name-she knew she wanted us to come help.
I called the hospital and local ambulance to tell them that we have to come there the day of transport to evaluate him to make sure he is ready and I was told repeatedly, “we don’t do that-we just deliver him to the airport for you.”
After doing this for 6 years, I know that patients that are this sick tend to get sicker when you take them from a stable environment and put them in an unstable one. I insisted that we get to the hospital first and the caregivers were all surprised when we showed up via cab to the hospital before the ambulance arrived. No one had ever shown them that level of care.
Bryan had difficulty getting comfortable on our cot with his neck brace on and he had so much trouble breathing during flight that we had to have the pilots fly at a lower altitude. He was given muscle relaxers and pain medication and he finally after a few hours fell asleep. Hal notified us that there were severe storms over the airport we were supposed to go to and Bryan’s mom Joan said “no worries-God is faithful and He can just blow the storm clouds away with one breath.”
When we entered the turbulence of the clouds to approach the airport-Joan thought it was “fun!” Sure enough, God parted the skies to let us in just before the severe storm hit. We were greeted by a bunch of cute kids and family and the one Bryan had most wanted to get home to-his 7 year old grandson (who held up a great big sign “welcome home Papaw”)
Wow how much family can do to lift a depressed spirit. Bryan was even smiling and said “thank you for bringing me home.”
We prayed for Bryan’s continued healing and I told Joan as I gave her our Grace on Wings pin-“flying buddy-you can ride with us anytime!” And as she prayed-God parted the storms and let us get safely back home.
Thanks to great care by medic Alex, Rusty, Hal and flight follower Mike!
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