The Liberty Gazette
December 13, 2011Ely Air Lines
By Mike Ely and Linda Street-Ely
Mike: Many kind hearted souls have jumped at the chance to help Courtney Carroll. Prayer, support, encouragement, and assistance have come from people in many industries. A benefit last year in The Woodlands raised money to help offset medical costs not covered by insurance, and as Courtney prepares for her third kidney transplant at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore the costs continue to be incurred, and so does the help.
Linda: I was alerted to Courtney’s case when I was “tagged” in a Facebook post by a friend. She had mentioned me to someone named Mari Ann’s, thereby making Mari Ann’s Facebook page accessible to me. I’ve never met Mari Ann, a friend of the Carroll family, who was looking for assistance in finding a medical flight to get Courtney from a Denver hospital to Johns Hopkins in Baltimore. Courtney was too sick to fly commercially. Our mutual friend, Linda Roe, brought me in to the discussion hoping I might have contacts. The Carroll family had already contacted Angel Flights and learned the limitations, such as the 1,000 mile distance limit and the inability to provide service when medical attention is needed during transport. Through the Corporate Angel Network corporations that own airplanes take sick people to hospitals when they have an empty leg going that way but cannot provide medical attention en route. As I was working to find help through my own contacts Mari Ann shared some good news. Footprints in the Sky (from the last line of the poem, “Footprints”, “It was then that I carried you”) a Denver based medical flight company that operates a medically equipped Citation 550 (jet) would take Courtney. The family was asked to try and raise $5,000 for fuel. Before I could even get the word out, one generous person gave the entire $5,000.
Mike: Courtney was flown to Baltimore the next day. Dr. Robert Montgomery commended her mother, Tami, who is also her kidney donor, for her efforts and said it's a good thing they arrived when they did. Courtney was in very poor condition. Tami is grateful to God for the direction this has taken, and the expertise of Dr. Montgomery, who has handled similar difficult kidney cases.
Right now, they are working to stabilize Courtney and find out why she's losing blood; possibly the rejected kidney, but possibly something else. She will be in the hospital in Maryland for at least two months.
Linda: When I shared the update with fellow pilots who had tried to help, one of them, Barbara Harris-Para, asked if there were any other needs the family had. What about a place for Tami to stay? So I sent out a follow-up note to Mari Ann and learned that Tami is staying at the McElderry House across from the hospital, for $700 per month.
If you’re looking for a secular year-end tax deduction, consider a donation to:
Footprints in the Sky, http://www.FootprintsFlights.org, phone 303-799-0461, or
McElderry House, http://www.mcelderryhouse.com/ phone 410-732-5464.
Courtney posted on the National Kidney Center’s Facebook page recently: Hi my name is Courtney and I am a recipient of my father’s kidney. My transplant failed and I’m back on the list. The most wonderful gift someone can give is an organ. This process reminds people of what love really is and I’m thankful to have it because I would not be alive were it not for wonderful people like yourselves. Thank you and God bless.