My Nonprofit Reviews
Mary Ann Shock
Review for Mercy Medical Angels, Virginia Beach, VA, USA
It all started with a phone call Spring 2012 from my younger brother; a retired US Army Reserve NCO (Veteran of Operation Desert Shield/Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom) living in San Antonio Texas. He told me he was in need of a kidney transplant. He was informed by his doctors that it was time to contact his family and friends to see if anyone was willing to consider being a donor. It involved getting a blood test to see if I was match. Not only did I feel compelled to help my brother but he is a Veteran. I am married to a Veteran, my father and father in-law are both Veterans. I wanted to be tested to see if I would be a match. Within a week a blood kit was mailed to me at my home in Northern Virginia. Long story short, after much blood work/labs/MRI's and x-rays, it was determined that I was an identical match to my brother. It couldn’t get any better than that. The goal now was for me to donate my kidney to him before he would go on dialysis.
I am a wife of a Retired Air Force Colonel of 27 years. He is a Veteran of Operation Desert Shield/Storm, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. We have been blessed with six beautiful children. Donating a kidney was not just my decision, it was a family decision. After much discussion with my team of doctors here in Virginia and San Antonio, lots of prayers and family support, it was decided that the transplant would take place on August 7, 2012. I needed to be in San Antonio by August 2nd, to meet my transplant surgeons for the first time. August 2nd also happened to be my triplets 16th Birthday. The unselfishness and strong love our family has for each other, made it possible for me to leave home and be with my brother in Texas for the next three weeks. It was decided that after the transplant surgery, I would heal alongside my brother in my sister’s home in Texas. This made it possible for both of our care to be maintained by our local Texas family. (Thanks Nadine, Mom and US Army Reserve Retired Chief Warrant Officer AKA Daddy.)
My transportation to San Antonio was not covered by my brother’s insurance or by the Transplant Center. Not to mention, I needed to be able to fly an escort to help care for me while I was in Texas healing and then to escort me back home.
My husband contacted American Airlines Director of Veterans Initiatives and asked if there was any kind of flight assistance for situations like ours. Within "minutes" we were connected to Air Compassion for Veterans. We told them our situation and within days my son (escort) and I were booked on a flight with American Airlines courtesy of Air Compassion for Veterans. But it did not stop there. When my son and I arrived at the airport, we were treated with such kind, warm and friendly American Airline employees. It is as if they already knew my story. They made sure that my son and I were safe and all of our needs were met.
Upon departing from Texas, American Airlines offered me wheel chair assistance and priority seating. If it wasn't for the Air Compassion for Veteran assistance, I am not so sure I would have been able to travel so quickly to Texas to donate my kidney to my brother. I cannot THANK YOU all enough for being there when we needed you the most. You are forever in our hearts. We are going on 8 months post op now. When people ask how we are doing, I still beam with pride when I tell them my brother and I are doing well and how American Airlines and the great people of Air Compassion for Veterans made this all possible.
From the bottom of our hearts, this military family SALUTES YOU!
God Bless you, our troops and America!
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