Free medical flight unites young family

Jan 4, 2023News, Stories

When my wife and I drove from our home in Michigan to adopt our newborn son in Virginia, we never thought we’d find ourselves in a month-long stay in the NICU without any way to get back home.

Our son Oliver was born a few days early. When we got the call, we started on our 12-hour drive with a tremendous amount of excitement. It wasn’t until we arrived that we heard about Oliver’s liver failure and brain hemorrhaging.

Over the course of the next several weeks, we were with Oliver every day as he fought to get better. We were grateful we could be there with him. But we were simultaneously devastated to be away from our other 20-month-old son, Theo. Once Oliver was stable, we asked the doctors for a transfer from the Virginia NICU to Helen DeVos Childrens Hospital in Michigan. This would allow us to be with the rest of our family. The doctors were in favor of the transfer. However, they said it would need to occur on a plane because of the distance and severity of Oliver’s condition.

We were shocked when our insurance denied coverage for a medical flight home. They said we would need to pay for the $19,000 flight ourselves. We felt stranded, trapped, and hopeless.

After a late night of googling and several conversations with friends, we heard about Wings of Mercy. Without much optimism left, we made the call to request a free medical flight. We were immediately met with a can-do attitude that ultimately brought us home.

It was two short days later that we found ourselves on a private jet, bringing Oliver home in the type of style and class he deserved after such a rough start!

The very idea that these staff members and pilots do this out of the sheer kindness of their hearts is enough to make me tear up all over again. The free medical flight we received from Wings of Mercy reunited us with our son and placed Oliver with his long-term care team. We were reminded that there are incredible humans on this planet who do incredible things for others simply because they can.

We are forever grateful to these absolute superheroes. 

Free medical flight with father and son on an airplane