On Valentine's Day 2003, our 2-month old daughter's life changed forever. Jordan Marie went from being a healthy vibrant baby to a child on full life support within 24 hours. She was diagnosed with a rare respiratory genetic defect that is usually fatal. BUT...the Lord had other plans!! Jordan received a life-saving double lung transplant 3 months later...just one of only a handful of babies to survive such a complicated surgery at such a young age. With all of Jordan's specialized doctors 700 miles away in St. Louis, the innumerable doctor's visits and follow-up medical tests seemed impossible to get to...until Angel Flight Soars arrived on the scene!! God, once again, guided our little overwhelmed, exhausted, and stressed family into the hands of the most incredible group of "flying servants" we've ever met. Now, after nearly TEN YEARS, THOUSANDS of AIR MILES, and DOZENS of hospital trips, Angel Flight Soars is still by our side every step of the way. Angel Flight Soars will FOREVER be part of our family! What a blessing and a God-send they continue to be! We are DEEPLY grateful to Angel Flight Soars for their never-ending dedication, compassion, efficiency, and kindness...you've kept our family going through the "ups" and "downs". GOD BLESS YOU!
I am a pilot who has flown missions for Angel Flight Soars for over a dozen years. My story is about one of these missions several years ago, memorable -- at least to me -- because it was both touching and, in retrospect, funny.
My mission was to fly a young mother and her 4-year old son from Atlanta back to Savannah that afternoon, after he had been treated for neuroblastoma. The engines of several airplanes were running as we walked out onto the flight line that day, so his mother reached for his nearest hand. He yanked it away! So, I offered my forefinger, which he took with the other hand. He was a BIG BOY, too big to hold his mother's hand, but he would hold the pilot's hand!
We got everyone strapped into the airplane, received out clearance, taxied out, and took off. Just moments after we reached our cruising altitude, he pitched a fit! He was screaming, and his little arms and legs were thrashing about wildly in his car seat. Considering what was wrong with him, I thought that I had a genuine medical emergency on my hands. I was just about to call Atlanta Departure Control, declare an emergency, and ask for a priority return and an ambulance to meet us on arrival.
First, though, I asked his mother if she knew what was wrong with him. It's a good thing I did: He had just noticed that his mother, my copilot, and I were each wearing a headset, and he didn't have one! I told her to reach over her seat and get one out one out of my flight bag. When she put it on him, he immediately quieted down, went to sleep, and slept all of the way to Savannah.
Unexpected memories such as this are among the things which make flying Angel Flight missions so, so worthwhile!
Honored to be an Angel Flight pilot
The story of two of my grandsons has already been posted. Angel Flight Soars transported both children to get life-saving heart transplants. Our family received the calls in the middle of the night and Angel Flight Pilots dropped what they were doing to get my grandsons to Atlanta in time to receive the hearts donated by families that were very generous in their time of sorrow. The Angel Flight program is awesome! My entire extended family and I are extremely grateful to Angel Flight! Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!
I have been working with Angel Flight Soars, Inc. for ten years, and nothing is of greater importance to Angel Flight Soars than getting people where they need to go and doing so as few hiccups as possible. Angel Flight Soars far exceeds other charitable aviation organizations when it comes to providing smooth and stress-free transportation for patients and families.
Angel flight soars saved both of my children's lives. At the age of three, my oldest son was diagnosed with restrictive cardio myopathy and needed a heart transplant. The hospital required us to get to there within 4 hours. The problem was, we live 5 1/2 hours from Children's healthcare of Atlanta, and this is where Angel Flight Soars stepped in to help us get to Atlanta Fast! We got the call at my wife's birthday dinner. We dropped everything and raced to the airport to meet our life saving flight. We ended up getting two heart transplants and were able to come home after a long stay in the ICU. Six years later our second son was also diagnosed with restrictive cardio myopathy also neediped a heart transplant. We received a call at the beginning of the summer around midnight and our pilots not only got us to Atlanta, one of them took us to the hospital. I will always be indebted to Charles, Ron and Bob, our "angels" that took their time and airplane to help save two three year old children. My oldest son is seven years post transplant and helping his four year old brother get used to life as a transplant patient. Thank you Angel Flight Soars!
in march of 2014 i received a phone call that would forever change my life.i was introduced to angel flight soars!this was nothing short of a miracle from god!with the help of angel flight i have been able to get to the hospital to get the medical care that i needed!i would like to thank each and everyone from angel flight soars for there kindness and support!this comes from the bottom of my heart!without angel flight none of this would be possible.again thank you all,nicholas flynn.god bless!
My son was born on Feb. 20th, 2013. He was diagnosed with Klippel Feil Syndrome on January 29th, 2014. It’s a rare syndrome since it occurs in 1 in 42,000 births worldwide. Chance’s condition requires that he visits the Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania, throughout the year, to evaluate and assess his syndrome. Angel Flights allows our family to concentrate on Chance’s medical issues without the added stress of worrying how we are going to pay for flights to and from Philadelphia.
The personnel and pilots at Angel Flights treat us with the utmost respect and they are without a doubt, our angels in the sky. Angel Flighe is truly Chance's Angel! They provide our family with hope because without hope, you have nothing. Chance is receiving top-notch medical care with doctors who are the best and brightest in their fields. Thank you, Angel Flights, for being there for our son!
Angel Flight has been such a blessing to our family. Our 87 year old uncle lives in Macon, GA, but has a couple of medical specialist in Atlanta, GA and Augusta, GA. It makes it so much easier on him to fly to these locations rather than a 2-3 hour car ride. Besides, he was in the Air Force during WWII and he LOVES the flying.
My husband and I try to help out his daughter by getting him to these appointments. Unfortunately, both of us have our own medical issues and having Angel Flight available has been so helpful. Anytime we have a need for a flight, the Angel Flight Staff is right on top of it. Even when the need is sometimes last minute. They are always pleasant and have treated our Uncle with such love and respect. The pilots have been unbelievably accommodating. One lives close to our Uncle and he picks him up and takes him to the airport. One actually drove from Atlanta picked him up in Macon and drove him back to Atlanta because weather would not permit a flight. That is just above and beyond.
God Bless Angel Flight, the staff and pilots!
A Special Thank You to our Angel Flight Family
Without a doubt, you are truly angels. My son Samuel was born with an extremely rare chromosomal anomaly so unique that his geneticist had never seen it before and could only find two other cases in all of the medical journals. As a result, he has a number of diagnosis, including cerebral palsy, which require ongoing medical treatment and therapies. When Samuel recently suffered extremely painful neurological complications following a routine surgery, he saw many local doctors and was treated with medicines that helped only minimally and had unbearable side effects. After much searching, we were blessed to find a doctor in Maryland who is pioneering a new procedure to treat similar neurological problems. I called him and talked with him, and he agreed to see Samuel. I knew I had to get my son to Maryland to see this doctor. We had a small local fundraiser and raised $304. We loaded up the van, took our $304 of gas money drove from Georgia to Maryland. It was an extremely long drive and we had to stop frequently for breaks along the way to allow Sam to get up and move around. We set up camp in a Maryland state park because it cost much less than a hotel room, and I knew that I would have to pay a minimum of $4800 up front for the Dr. to conduct the necessary tests and treat Samuel. The procedure, tests, brace, etc. were not covered at all by our insurance because the treatment is still in the experimental stage. And our $304 of gas money ran out long before we got to Maryland.
We thought that the procedure and bracing process would take about 5 days. We ended up having to spend ten days in Maryland before he was able to return home. Sam responded well to the procedure and began to show improvement. The drive home took a lot longer as we drove for two days through pouring rain. After getting home, Samuel continued to show improvement. While he was not 100% , he was definitely much better than he had been in months. After about four months, he began to regress some. I called the Dr, and he said that we needed to return to Maryland. Between the medical bills, gas money, camping fees, food, etc., I had depleted my savings and all resources. I had no idea how I was going to be able to get him back to Maryland and pay for a hotel. It was December and way too cold to camp with a sick child in Maryland. Knowing our plight, a coworker asked me if I had ever heard of Angel Flight. I had at some point heard of Angel Flight, but thought you only served in life or death situations. She said that it was worth a try. I contacted Angel Flight, and the staff made me feel so welcome, like they were truly excited to be able to help. It was short notice, but they worked tirelessly to get our flights scheduled. At the last minute, however, our flights had to be cancelled due to a strong snow storm moving in. Angel Flight did not abandon us. They helped us be able to arrange for Amtrak to transport us. It was a very cold 16 hour train ride, but it was an exciting experience to share with my son.
We had not been home but a couple of weeks when we had to rush back to Maryland. This time, even though it was New Years Day, Angel Flight pilots were able to fly us to Maryland on very short notice and between snow storms. When it came time for our scheduled return flights, there was a foot of snow on the ground, and it was about 6 degrees and still snowing. There was no way to fly in or out of the little airport in Maryland. Mr. Brian Wills, our first pilot on the trip up, called and offered to fly us the rest of the way home if we could rent a car and drive as far as North Carolina, where the weather was not as bad. I tried driving a little ways, but it was still snowing and the roads were treacherous. Mr. Wills worked with me for hours, calling back and forth trying to figure out how to get us home. He truly went above and beyond what would be expected. When he saw that the weather was supposed to improve the next day he decided that he would fly all the way to Maryland the next day and fly both legs of our flight home, even though it would take his entire Saturday. Late that night, Mr. Taylor, an Angel Flight East pilot, called and volunteered to fly the first leg home. He and Mr. Lindy Kirkland landed very skillfully on an icy runway, and soon we were on our way home. I was just so amazed and humbled that these men would spent a cold, snowy Saturday going out of their way to help us. It just absolutely meant the world to us.
After making a couple of driving trips in the spring, we had the pleasure of flying with Angel Flight again in August When we had to return again unexpectedly. Mr. Al Langerstrom flew our first leg up and Mr. Rapp, who also flew us into Maryland in January, flew our last leg in again. They were so kind and answered all of Sam's questions and even gave him little flying lessons. He loved it. Our pilot on the first leg home, Mr. John Wells took time off work to fly us. We found out late the evening before we were to fly out that Sam would need to see the Dr. again that morning. That put us behind, but Mr. Wells adjusted his schedule for us, even though it meant that he had to rush to work as soon as we landed. Our final flight was with Mr. Jason Prince. This time I got to be "copilot" and he very graciously answered my questions and taught me some things about flying.
Samuel will likely have to make many more trips to his Dr. in Maryland. It is very comforting to know that Angel Flight is there for us if we need them again.
Everyone at Angel Flight, Ms. Jett, Ms. Burnadette and all of the pilots have gone out of their way to make us feel cared for and important. By the time a flight ends, we feel like a part of the family. You are such a blessing to us and a true answer to prayers.
God Bless You,
Julie and Samuel
For with God All Things are possible.
My son assisted as a co-pilot on flight missions and was so enthused at being able to help people in need. When he died unexpectedly and suddenly in a vehicle accident in the Atlanta area in 2007, Angel Flight comforted me in my mourning and I have to say I love all of the people I met on the staff. They never dropped the proverbial ball with anything we worked on together and are truly a compassionate and caring staff. While I wish I could donate 100% of my income to them for their program and their selfless activities in service to others, I continue to support them as I can financially and wholeheartedly support their programs and activities. Before committing to charities, I always check details on Guidestar.org and their reviews & ratings & information are excellent and fit my personal criteria for organizations worthy of contribution. They are an A-1 group.
I began as a pilot with Angel Flight to help people in need, fly with a purpose, and get a tax deduction. It turned out to be much more than expected. The staff at Angel Flight Soars are dedicated to saving lives by making medical treatment accessible. Their dedication and hard work get thousands of patients to life saving treatment. Their leadership makes pilots like myself want to do more. I am now blessed with many wonderful memories.
My son was dx with anaplasticmedulloblastoma april 30, 2013. We were immediately sent to Atlanta CHOA by EMS from Valdosta. after surgery and recovery his treatment options were discussed with us. We opted to stay with CHOA for 6 weeks of chemo and radiation. We stayed at the Ronald McDonald House which put many miles between us and our Family. Our social worker told us about Angel Flight and I was immediately put in contact with the staff. The staff are amazing!!! They care so much about the needs of others going through pediatric cancer and other diseases. They know how difficult it is to be separated from your family and your child being so sick from treatment that driving any distance is to much especially when all you have is the weekend. With Angel Flight we were given the opportunity to fly home and fly back which put round trip travel time to 2 hours vs. 8 hrs. It was so rewarding to my son and I in many ways. One being that the two of us had never flown. It meant so much to have that opportunity to share with my son. I can never thank Angel Flight and their staff and Pilots that flew us safely to our family and back to treatment enough for your selfless act. My son is still in treatment once a month for 3 days as an impatient. Two more months left. Hes doing really good. We are forever grateful to Angel Flight and evertyone who we have shared a piece of our life with. Thank you for making it a little easier. God bless, Leslie & Brody
To the Compassionate Staff, and Pilots of Angel Flight Soars,
Thank you for your kindness, compassion, and your help during a time in my life, when I needed someone's help more than any other time. Compassion is defined as, an internal feeling of sorrow for someone's situation that, is followed by the desire to actively help. This feeling of sorrow is put into motion in an external manner. Compassion requires physical action. The word Compassion appears a total of forty times in the King James Holy Bible. Knowing this, we can conclude that having compassion was, and still is, an important attribute of the people of God. Psalms 86:15 "But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth". A God so full of compassion would expect that His people to be of the same likeness, 1st Peter 3:8 "Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous".
I do struggle to put into words, the humbling gtatitude that I felt with your acts of compassion and help, during a time of need and darkness in my life. God Bless you the staff, and God Bless you the pilots, for showing love and compassion towards a man, who was certainly that of a stranger. The story of the Good Samaritan is what came to mind, when I learned of your willingness to help me. Luke 11:33 "But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him". Your slogan of, "Where Hope Soars" seems to be certainly inspired, from a God of love. Just as the man who the Good Samaritan helped was given hope, I felt the weight of the world taken off of my shoulders when, I learned of your plans to fly me from Tennessee to Minnesota. I had prayed that God's will be done but, I knew that only a miracle could provide me with the answers to the problems that I faced. I can not thank you guys, in what seems to be an appropriate way, for being that of a servant of God. We do worship and serve a God of love, and a God who thru you, is still in the business of performing miracles. God Bless all of you, who make up the Staff of Angel Flight Soars. And, God Bless you, the Pilots of Angel Flight Soars.
Forever Touched by your Compassion,
Barry D. Arnold
My family and I have had multiple experiences with Angel Flight Organizations, from Volunteering, arranging for missions for my patients, but on December 9, 2012, I became the patient. December 9, 2012, I awoke in the worst pain in my life, which having had kidney stones since age 7 is a lot of pain. I was admitted to the local hospital and diagnosed with Pancreatitis. After 13 long days I was finally able to eat a very bland and soft diet, and keep the 5-10 bites I can eat down, so they sent me home. I was told I would continue to get better. Unfortunately, that never happened. Since the day I was sent home I never got better. I was hospitalized two more times by April and received not one but two diagnoses. The hope was that they were able to stop the recurring Pancreatitis. But unfortunately, it didn’t work. On September 26, 2012, I was admitted to the hospital in Atlanta with another bought of Pancreatitis. My GI attempted for the second time to get into my Pancreas and was unsuccessful. So he wanted me to see the World Renowned Physician that my GI trained under. The only problem, this doctor is in Orlando and I am 1-2 north of Atlanta. Due to the extreme pain and nausea there is just no way I could drive that long. Also, having been unable to work since December I had no money to purchase a airline ticket and a Hotel room. Dr H’s, GI in Orlando, called on Wednesday night and wanted me in Orlando on Monday. That night I pulled up Angel Flight on Google, and found Angel Flight Soars. On Thursday, morning I gave them a call really thinking that it would be way to quick for them to be able to arrange flights by Sunday, It only gave them a day and a half business days to arrange things! But they didn’t even Blink, she said sure let me get you approved and you get the doctors from filled out and we won’t have a problem. I got a call back in a hour saying that I was approved and that they would be getting
back to me with who my pilots would be. She explained that of course things can happen, weather or whatever, so to have back up plain. On Friday I got a call from Angel Flight and on Saturday spoke with my first pilot.
All four of my pilots were top notched, caring, and very talented. I had originally hoped to be able to fly back home on Wednesday but due to complications I was not able to be released from the hospital. Again Angel Flight worked a miracle, they were able to postpone my flights and work with me not really even knowing when I would be released from the hospital.
Angel Flight Soars is a fantastic group of men and women that are working diligently, to help others like myself that desperately need medical treatment but doesn’t have the financial means to get there. Angel Flight Soars has allowed me to have a procedure that could have very well have saved my life. If you are a patient that needs a helping hand this is the place for you. Also, if you own a business or a airplane and are looking for a group to support and to serve others in a truly amazing way, Angel Flight Soars is the place for you!
Thank you Angel Flight for all you have done for our family.
Client: Anitra L Duke, LPN; Client: Son Deric Duke; Client parents Linda and Frank Duke
We always tell individuals that there are over a million charities in the US -- a big question is what makes an individual chose a charity to embrace and be a part of? Angel Flight Soars captured our hearts for a few key reasons:
1. Flying With A Purpose-- the satisfaction of knowing that a child / adult ,who lack the means, can receive life saving medical attention and needs through free air transportation,. Helping families focus on getting better instead of worrying about how to get to their treatments has personally changed our lives forever. The stories and words that are shared in the sky that may help a family find hope and even a little laughter before they face some of their hardest times in their lives can be essential on many different levels.
2. Money With A Purpose-- charities depend on donations from individuals and businesses. Every gift is important and makes a difference -- the requests for Angel Flight Missions continue to grow and to support the growth of the requests is huge. The resources needed to support this worthy and tangible cause is dependent on financial support, volunteers, and other acts of giving that can have an lasting impact on people's lives.
We are proud to be a part of Angel Flight. Skip and Victoria Moore
Until I began working with Angel Flight Soars I really had no appreciation of the amazing work they do. They save lives and change lives. I spoke with one pilot the other day. He had gotten a call while in the air that there was an emergency flight needed. He immediately rerouted. The massive coordination needed to pull off all of these flights and serve so many people in desperate need of healthcare assistance is staggering. And the pilots do all of it on their own. No one is paid to fly these missions. Everyone connected to this organization is truly an angel.
In my role as a volunteer pilot for Angel Flight Soars, I have seen lives literally changed through the efforts of this organization, usually at a time when a family is particularly vulnerable because of illness, timing of medical care, financial issues, and other family pressures. A blind veteran helped into and out of a small plane near his destination rather than running the gamut of airline check-in, sprints through the terminal, and baggage check on the other side of the city... A baby burned in a Thanksgiving barbeque accident having to travel across the state for weekly specialty reconstructive care... A woman with cancer at the end of her life trying to come home from the hospital but stranded halfway, picked up by Angel Flight and delivered in hours to her family two states away... A man who, on very short notice, had to cross a state to be with his wife as their son underwent emergency heart surgery. These are just a few examples of the people who are helped by Angel Flight day in and day out, weekends and holidays included. For my part, I cannot conceive of a better way to spend my time than in helping provide these services.
I have been involved as a volunteer pilot and airshow and fundraising representative for Angel Flight Soars for the past three years. Based in Atlanta, Angel Flight Soars' capable and passionate staff coordinate medical and compassionate travel for people who would otherwise not have the means, financial or otherwise, to obtain specialty medical care, or to be with loved ones in times of family and personal distress. I have been a surgeon for over thirty years, yet Angel Flight has shown me aspects of care, and caring, that were previously beyond my awareness; like how my patients - some strangers but many also my neighbors - have to orchestrate their goings and comings, often on short notice and at inconvenient times, to address these needs. It is both humbling and immensely fulfilling for me to be a part of the Angel Flight family.
On Oct. 21, 2012 my son Cohl tripped and fell in a fire, he was air lifted to Augusta that night and our journey began. We went for check ups in Valdosta but had to go back to Augusta several times and of course was dreading the 5 hour ride and then I found out about Angel Flight which was a life saver, we had the pleasure of flying with several of your pilots and it was an awesome experience all the pilots were great. In such a difficult time Angel Flight made it so much easier on us, I am grateful for the pilots that take time out of their lives to help others. God bless them and Angel Flight for making it all happen. I can't thank all of you enough.
Thank you, Amy Williams
I cannot begin to describe how grateful and thankful my family and I are to have such a rewarding experience during the flights that were provided to us by Angel Flight for doctor follow ups in Georgia Burnt Center. I have to say that this is in all trueness that God is in the midst of this organization due the unselfishness, kindness, and self-denial of all the pilots and the personnel involved to make this happen. Jet Staff member, Jerry Black (Pilot), David Snyder(Pilot), and Cindy's Cab. For those who don't realize what this folks are doing here is a fact: this people use their own money, plane and resources and charge nothing. In my case it was a 3 hrs round trip. Eagle Med (the Greeneville, TN hospital flight crew) charged me 34,000 dollars just to flight me one way trip to the Georgia Burnt Center. Therefore I have to say that this Angel Flight ministry is a True God given gift to those in need. Unfortunately this folks Will not take anything you try to give them, you can see in their faces and tone of voice the joy and satisfaction they get for doing what they do. Last but not least, on our first trip from the hospital to our home in Chuckey, TN we were surprised as to how fast they work. Jet Stovall had sent us an email asking if we had any appointment setup so that they can schedule a flight for us. That is what I call true service no more no less. And in fact we schedule two more flights with one last one on November 1st 2013. Again our prayers and support to Angel Flight.
The Paisan Family in Chuckey, TN
When the going gets tough...the tough get going...that's what our beloved Angel Flight Soars family has been doing for our family for eleven years!!! It seems like yesterday, but it was 11 years ago that we discovered our newborn daughter needed a double lung transplant to survive. As if that medical bomb didn't "rock our world" enough, we were told the specialists for this rare procedure were 700 miles away from home. That's where Angel Flight Soars, with just one phone call, came to our rescue. As the mom, I was barely keeping my head above water with the terrifying and complex medical burdens/challenges facing my baby daughter...Angel Flight Soars stepped in, graciously and wonderfully handled the logistical and financial nightmare of coordinating 11 years worth of medical trips to the transplant center and got my daughter, husband and myself back and forth to critical follow-up appointments and procedures for eleven solid years! They are the most giving group of people I have ever met and we thank the good Lord for them each and every day! God Bless Angle Flight Soars forever and always!!!!
Angel Flight coordinated and assisted our son to get the medically necessary therapies he needed in Michigan. Had it not been for their help, there is no way that he and I could have afforded the flights to and from the intensive treatment. We sincerely appreciate the staff at AF and all of the precious angels who donate their time, energy, love and planes to make miracles such as ours happen. Bless them!