This is a report for Mission 393 by Grace on Wings.
Departure: Lakeland, Florida
Arrival: Crawfordsville, Indiana
Date: April 1, 2016
For the last few weeks 88 year old Bill has been visiting his brother and sister-in-law down in warm sunny Florida. Bill is still very active despite having leukemia and he and his family have been bike riding and enjoying other activities during his visit. It was during this time that he began having some respiratory problems and ended up in the hospital with pneumonia.
His daughter Cheryl called us on Friday in an effort to try to get him back home to Crawfordsville because he would not be able to make the trip by ground. During our conversation we found out that at that time he was on too much oxygen even for the flight. As I explained this to Cheryl I could hear her sobbing and the desperation in her voice to get him home. As I listened she softly said, “what are we supposed to do?” I could feel her pain and now I desperately wanted to get him home too.
I simply said to her, “why don’t we both pray about it over the weekend and let God do the rest.” I told her I would touch base with her on Monday and we would reevaluate his circumstances. By Monday he was doing better and we continued with our plans to get him home as he progressively got better as the week went on. God is so good and so faithful.
So here we are to today at Bill’s bedside packing him up to get him home. Both he and Cheryl are so relieved that today is finally here and also so very thankful to the staff. Bill’s brother and sisterinlaw are here too to bid us goodbye.
There are a lot of hugs, kisses and “I love you’s” as they of course will be staying at their home in Florida. They are so grateful and though I have only just met them I found myself telling them that I loved them too. They continued to thank us as we all walked down to the ambulance together and put Bill on board. Hal prayed for Bill and Cheryl immediately before we all boarded Nellie.
Bill did great during the flight enjoying the view out his window. He has these great rosey cheeks and sweet smile. In speaking with Cheryl I found out that she and her daughter had driven down to Florida as soon as she found out her father was ill. With her aunt and uncle living a little further away she was worried that if something happened to her father she would not be able to get there quick enough.
In the hospital one person was allowed to sleep in his room so she and her daughter were taking turns sleeping in their car in the hospital garage until the hospital found out and allowed both to sleep in the room. It is very evident that she loves her father. Bill and his bride were married for 55 years until she passed away.
They raised 3 daughters and 1 son and have 6 grandchildren. He served in Germany and the end of WWII and later worked for Marathon Oil, and then went on to sell real estate and insurance. He still has a Harley motorcycle that he enjoys riding as well as fishing. All 4 of his children still live in the small town outside of Crawfordsville and are all very close. Cheryl is in charge of family dinners almost every weekend as they all gather together. She said this small town is all they know. How refreshing to see the closeness of this family.
We arrived in Indy late in the evening and made our 1 hour ambulance ride to the new facility. It was quite beautiful and despite the late hour of our arrival they were very friendly and welcoming. Cheryl began to cry again after we prayed with her and her father and that sweet smile and those rosey cheeks never left his face.
WHOEVER DWELLS IN THE SHELTER OF THE MOST HIGH WILL REST IN THE SHADOW OF THE ALMIGHTY. I WILL SAY OF THE LORD, “HE IS MY REFUGE AND MY FORTRESS, MY GOD, IN WHOM I TRUST.”
Thank you to Hal, Danny and John for sharing this mission with me. May the God of grace and peace be with each of you.