This morning we arrive at George’s home in London, Kentucky. George has lived here with his son and his family for about 4 years. He is originally from Long Island, New York.
He and his wife were high school sweethearts and were married for 30 plus years before she passed away. During this time they adopted and raised 2 children from birth. George was a mechanic for the NY police department and when he and his family moved to Florida he began working for the school system as a mechanic on their buses.
When he and his son moved to Kentucky a few years ago they purchased a home which George described as “just a shell”. They have done an amazing job refurbishing it. It has beautiful hardwood flooring with many built-ins and antique furniture. The rooms are quite spacious, warm and welcoming. George is surrounded by his family including grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
He is completely dressed and ready to fly. I knew the minute we met that I was going to like him. When I asked what he had for breakfast his answer was, “warm apple pie with crumbled topping and a glass of ice cold milk.” (My kind of guy, dessert for breakfast.) We gathered his family around to get one last picture prior to leaving as they all kissed him good-bye.
After Hal prayed we placed him on board Nellie. George did well during the flight his daughter-in-law had placed a memory foam pad under him for extra comfort during the trip. He began to share his journey up to this point……..he was up and walking around just a month or so ago without any problem. He and his son had a morning ritual of going to the coffee shop together each morning.
One morning when he woke he noticed a little difficulty in walking so he asked his son to bring him his cane as the two of them were heading out to the coffee shop. He said the next morning he needed a walker and got progressively worse very quickly until he could no longer stand or walk. He was taken to the local hospital and diagnosed with a tumor on his spinal cord and eventually sent home with home health care.
His daughter, Cindy still lives in New York and wants him to come there. She has contacted a specialist in New York and his records transferred. This is where he we are taking him today. He is very frustrated because he does not understand what has happened and so far no one has really done anything to help him.
He is very hopeful that the hospital and specialist that Cindy has lined up will be able to give him some answers. He told us that his real wish is to just be able to drive on his own again and to take short trips to the coffee shop and post office even if it is a vehicle he has to drive with his hands.
Upon our arrival at the hospital in New York Cindy is waiting anxiously to see her father. Once we entered the hospital I called her so that she could come and find us. She was so happy to have him there and she and her husband joined us in prayer before we said our good-byes.
Thank you to Hal and JR for sharing this mission with me.
CHILDREN’S CHILDREN ARE A CROWN TO THE AGED,
AND PARENTS ARE THE PRIDE OF THEIR CHILDREN.
Shelli Engle RN