Wednesday, October 31, dawned gray and blustery, giving a hint that the evening Halloween festivities and candy gathering for the kids might truly be scary and uncomfortable. In Tampa, we were caught between high pressure to the northwest and a developing Tropical Storm Noel over the Bahamas. Thus we were enduring an unusual four day period of strong winds, showers, and white-capped waves.
Tabby, a single mom of 43, had been brought to Moffitt Cancer Center for surgery; however, the operating room was unavailable at the last minute. CAIR Flight had, through the courtesy of volunteer pilot Larry Marlewski, brought Tabby to Tampa on the 30th. Being most grateful for the ride, she had many kind words for our pilot and services.
What an emotional let down to have made all the plans, then to have details prevent this significant surgery. This left, however, yet another obstacle—how to get back home to share the day and important evening with her 9 year old son, who was now looking forward to having Mom there for “trick or treats.”
Normally, we advise at least 5 working days following receipt of the medical release to coordinate our missions. We started down the list in a desperate search for a “last minute” pilot to carry Tabby home.
Enjoying his second cup of coffee, while viewing the gray clouds and swaying branches, Rick Wachstein hadn’t planned to fly when he answered the phone at 9:30 AM. However, following an explanation of the situation and understanding that Tabby does not drive; she had no other way to return home. Rick agreed to reschedule his own activities and take the trip. Tabby was thrilled, and in fact, was back on her local airport ramp at 11:54 AM.
Once again CAIR Flight accomplished what it does best; serving those without options while taking seriously its role in keeping families together and in the best possible health. While we cannot always promise to react so swiftly, this is another demonstration of our compassion and the flexibility of our aircraft to reach 90% of our Florida’s citizens.
There are many memorable stories such as this one, and we hope that you will share them with others who may not know about CAIR Flight. We are committed to helping everyone we can. Please help us accomplish our goal by sharing our charitable airlift stories and our website with family and friends.