The family of a two year old girl has a special thank you this Thanksgiving eve to a local pilot. He is part of a team which provides free flights for life-saving medical care. Local 12's Liz Bonis got a special boarding pass on "Angel Flight East".
It is a little before nine in the morning and Al Sherman and his wife Claire are heading up to their destination of the day, Charlottesville, Virginia. They own this Beechcraft King Air C90G TX. Today they are using it to volunteer for "Angel Flight."
As a retired commercial airline pilot, Al considers this his higher calling you might say... "The only thing I've ever done my whole life is fly airplanes."
Angel Flight is an organization which uses volunteers to fly those who need it or medical care. The team has invited us along on this Angel Flight, so I am on board with Photojournalist James Harrison. We are headed to pick up a little girl who needs burn care at Shriners Hospital in Cincinnati. The Sherman's have never met her, but it doesn't matter from their family to this one they've extended their wings. "These are young parents, and we are hoping they will pass this on."
Total flight time initially is about an hour and twenty minutes. Just a few steps off the plane and the Sherman's get to meet Kara. Kara has healed some after her arm got caught in a cord from a crockpot of boiling beans. "It poured on top of her head and her face, and cheek and her back all the way down."
Both mom and dad are at the airport as Kara's mom bids farewell. Dad will take the flight back with us. Her parting words... "You guys are all heroes. The scariest part is to say if it wasn't for you guys I don't know if my daughter would still be here."
Kara begins itching on the flight back. You can see where a third of her body has been burned. She is a bundle of joy to share our ride in the sky and as I climb into the cockpit for landing I can't help but think of our precious cargo on board. We ask Al about how he feels in helping Kara to heal and all he can say... "I think it's wonderful that we had a part in that."
"If I had millions and millions of dollars I still couldn't pay them for what they've done. It's priceless."
The Sherman's say so is the life of a little girl, which will be forever better because they could share their wings.
The pilots who fly for Angel Flight East pay for all the flight expenses.