Hardly a day goes by without a pleading email from Angel Flight West headquarters seeking an available pilot and aircraft to get someone to medical treatment.
The email I received today was heartbreaking, even by AF standards. Cheri — the mission coordinator — was trying to get a Navy medical technician from San Diego to Texas for the funeral of his niece, Amanda. AFW can often get free airline tickets for this kind of thing, but apparently all flights are completely booked because of spring break.
Spring break?! Salt. Wound. Rubbing.
Cheri’s email contained a link to an online journal the family kept during the 2 1/2 year ordeal. Here’s just one excerpt:
…most of the time she doesn’t want anyone to hold or touch her and she just sits there with a sad look on her face and it just breaks my heart. The nurses say it it a good thing that she doesn’t understand what is happening but I wonder if she does and just can’t express her fear? She told me the other day that she had a “boo boo” and I asked her where and she pointed to her head. I had to hold back my tears, I sure wish my kisses would fix that boo boo. I feel like my chest is going to explode most days and if I start crying that I will never be able to stop. We try to maintain happy faces when she is awake. How am I supposed to do this? I hurt so bad, why does anyone have to face this? Why can’t they find a cure for this? I try so hard to not be angry because I am not sure who to be angry at. No parent or grandparent should have to go pick out a little bitty casket and know that their precious baby will be laying there, it just isn’t fair or right.
After seeing what Amanda and her family have been through, I’m of the opinion it would be completely reasonable to put Amanda’s uncle on the plane and leave a flight attendant or pilot behind. It’s irritating to think of all those seats being filled by college frat boys whose only purpose for being on board is to spend a week drinking themselves into oblivion.