This is a report for Mission 259 by Grace on Wings.
Departure: Knoxville, Tennessee
Arrival: Grand Rapids, Michigan
Date: August 24, 2013
Delwyn K is a 56 years old from Michigan. He took his annual motorcycle ride with his son down in Tennessee. There is a famous trail there called Tail of the Dragon that they conquered on Sunday and they were riding in Smokey Mountain State Park Monday and his son was leading when he looked back and saw his dad was not behind him.
He initially wasn’t alarmed because they had decided before they left that if there was anything cool to see they would pull over. He turned around and found his dad on ground next to tree awake but in a lot of pain. He was rushed to hospital where he was found to have multiple bilateral rib fractures and lung contusions.
His wife Beth drove down to be near him and they were planning on driving him back to Michigan in a few days once his pain was under control. The next day he unfortunately suffered cardiac arrest and had a very large bleed into his Left chest. He was revived and underwent emergent surgery. His heart stopped two more times and each time he was revived. But he never woke up. From tests it appears his brain when without oxygen during one of the arrests and he has “profound” damage.
His wife and son just wanted to get him home. It took 4 weeks to get him stable enough to transport and get insurance approval of the facility in Michigan and we were finally bedside to get him and his wife home.
His eyes were open but he was unresponsive. He was breathing on his own with oxygen support. We left UT med center and soon arrived at the airport. His wife was so appreciative for us to be praying over him before flight.
We flew at a lower altitude so his badly damaged lungs could work and we arrived safely in Grand Rapids. When we touched down I looked back and our first time flyer nurse had tears in her eyes from looking at the tears and relief in Beth’s face to finally be home with Del. We met his son on the tarmac and he later sent us a great email:
I can’t say thank you enough for you time and dedication. Today you transported my father from Knoxville TN to Grand Rapids MI to be closer to his family.
I’m at a loss for words right now at how much this trip meant and how quickly you got my father here with your air ambulance.
It has been such a relief today to know my mom is back home and my father is only 40 minutes away vs 10 hours.
My father has a long road of recovery ahead and he now is able to spend it with family and friends instead of alone in a room.
I only got to know a few of you for a very short time, my mother got to fly with you thankfully. But your mission, your reasoning for going out into tomorrow to face today is amazing. God bless you all!
There are not enough “thanks you’s” in the world for all you do.
Thanks to great team of medic David, new recruit nurse Elizabeth, Dr Jim and Hal for a great mission.
Beth said that she doesn’t believe God would allow Del to live in this condition so we pray for God to restore him or take him Home.