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!
Great organization, not just for children but supplies transportation to anyone who needs to get to their treatment outside their local area. If they don't service that area they will hook you up with those that can. Love Angel Flight Soars.
The greatest joy anyone can experience is working with this organization. I believe it's one of the unique non-profit organization whereby as a volunteer, you may receive more than you can possibly give. The thrill and satisfaction of being a small part in a potential life changing or life saving event is an incredible feeling.
My partner and I focus on transporting transplant patients because of the critical time factor and we are in a better position to meet those time constraints. Knowing that you contributed to the successful heart transplant of a 3-year old heart is an incredible feeling. Moreover, watching the emotions and stress of the parents and all that they are going through at the time, makes your heart bleed for them.
The dedicated and untiring staff of Angel Flight Soars Inc., is the reason that 2531 patients, including 13 transplant patients, benefited from this organization last year. Their 24/7 commitment to the patients and parents is simply remarkable and they certainly do it because of their compassion for all. If there was ever a nonprofit organization worth volunteering for or donating to, it's definitely Angel Flight Soars Inc.
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
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.
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.
My company was a sponsor of there Golf Tournament a few years ago. The last few years have been financially difficult for our company and wanted to help in some way! After seeing the dedication and the sparkle in the eyes of those providing services for Angel Flight, I realized there strive to help all those in need! Seeing this in the staff of this organization made me want to help out as well. It is a powerful thing to see pilots donate there time, planes, and other resources. Sponsors donating funds to help with the operational cost and the behind the scenes people that work hard because we all know that helping others puts a smile on their faces and makes all of us happy. Thanks! Angel Fight for all you do!!! L. Jay Ertley
It has been a real privilege to be an Angel Flight pilot. Although I have only flown a handful of missions it has already been a real blessing to get to know both the volunteers and staff of Angel Flight Soars but also to get to know some very interesting people going through some very difficult times.
I hope to be able to provide many more Angel Flights and I would encourage anyone familiar with this program to tell others about it.
Over the past 7+ years, our company has organized events to benefit Angel Flight Soars. We originally chose this organization due to a good friendship with one of the pilots. After the first event, we grew to appreciate the organization and what they stand for. Each member of the team demonstrates appreciation, dedication, flexibility and a passion for their joint mission. We have learned so much about the families and the assistance Angel flights soars have been able to provide. It has been truly rewarding to raise and donate funds to such a well-known nonprofit with great group of people dedicated to a common goal to help such a good cause.
My family and I have been associated with Angel Flight for the past 7+ years. We've assisted with volunteer events, fund raiser events, and have had the opportunity to be with families as Angel Flight pilots take people to and from their doctor appointments. This organization is truly amazing when you consider the coordination required to match a pilot, plane, and a person in need with hospital or doctor office schedules. 'Life Changing' is what I think of when I consider the service Angel Flight provides.