Flights For Her Heart
Tabitha has flown with the volunteer pilot program of Mercy Medical Angels for a few years. She has a number of rare diseases, some of which affect her heart. Because she can’t find treatment near her home in the Outer Banks, she has to fly to Cleveland Clinic. Luckily, the volunteer pilots are always there to help her.
“They go above and beyond,” said Tabitha, “and I’m so grateful. They did great.”
Recently, Tabitha had to fly back to Cleveland Clinic because one of the artificial heart valves calcified. She needs to have it replaced. This will require surgery on her heart.
A scan also found lesions in her neck, which could be cancerous. Tabitha has to make another flight to Cleveland Clinic to find out the next steps.
On top of all this, a connective tissue disorder is causing her to live in pain. “But the heart was the worst pain.” said Tabitha.
…and New Beginnings
But it’s not all darkness in Tabitha’s life. Sunbeams of hope are peeking through the clouds of illness, sending light to her heart. She recently welcomed more grandkids to the family. As her family grows, she tries to keep in touch with as many as she can.
Tabitha said, “Ever since surgery, I try to make a memory.” For example, her daughter used to be terrified of flying. Tabitha planned a birthday surprise – an airplane ride! The two of them had a lot of fun, and it was a birthday to remember.
One of Tabitha’s grandchildren is starting high school. He helped her out over the summer, and introduced her to his friends. “All of his friends call me grandma,” said Tabitha. In return, she’s teaching him the basics of driving.
Straight From The Heart
If someone asked Tabitha about donating to Mercy Medical Angels, she has an answer ready. “Even if you never meet them, you’ve probably saved someone’s life. You’ve extended a family’s time and memories. You may need the help someday.”
Tabitha adds, “You can see who you helped on Twitter and other social media. So you know where the donation’s going. If you’re thinking of giving, give to Mercy Medical Angels.”
Despite all her challenges, Tabitha remains optimistic. She says, “Everything’s a blessing.” Thanks to the people who support Mercy Medical Angels, patients like Tabitha can follow their hearts to healing.