Violet M. is a 72 year old grandma of 6 grandchildren. She has developed Parkinson’s disease over the past three years. She needed to be transported to Ithaca, New York where she was going to move in her son’s family so she could have 24 hour care.
The weather in Indianapolis when we took off in the morning was about 80. We were blessed to have blue skies to fly through. The upstate New York air was a refreshing 70 degrees when we arrived around noon. With the clear skies, Violet was able to look out the window most of the flight and see the ground. Her face kept brightening as she commented on how it was becoming more beautiful as we entered the beginnings of the Adirondack Mountains in New York. Initially in the flight, Violet said it would be good to give her some medicine to help her relaxed but as time went on in the flight and she enjoyed the scenery, she relaxed. Thankfully we did not have to give any pain medication either during her time with us.
As we started descending, I briefed her on the landing. Nellie, our beloved and beautiful MU-2 is a strong girl and when her engines are put into the reverse thrust mode everyone inside of her feels it. Violet’s question for us, “Can I hold onto something?” was classic. Every patient wants the comfort of something to hold onto while landing. Unfortunately, Nellie was engineered as a tough military bird with double systems of everything for safety but with out the frills of handles in the cabin.
While hitting the normal few bounces in descent, Violet commented, “This is like a riding a horse without a saddle…bumps without anything to hold onto.”
I then had to inform Violet that her horse’s name was Nellie. It gave Violet a good laugh to have the orienting nurse turn her headset over to her husband so she could tell him that he was riding on her horse Nellie. After touchdown, when the reverse thrusters were gently applied, I looked over to see Violet smiling and we all heard through the headsets:
Thankful for our great pilots Hal and Mike, for the skills and heart of nurse Ellen and paramedic Theresa and most importantly our Heavenly Father,