JOHNATHON’S HELICOPTER

A mother of a critically ill young man called the Children’s Wishes and Dreams office in Yakima asking to fulfill a wish for her son, Johnathon. He wanted a remote controlled, gas-powered helicopter he could fly outside. Heidi Anderson, executive director of Children’s Wishes and Dreams, began her research. She contacted hobby stores and a gentleman who could spend some time with Johnathon to teach him to operate the helicopter beginning with a battery powered unit to practice indoors.

Monday, February 13th, Heidi received a call from Johnathon’s mother informing her that Jonathon was in the hospice unit at Memorial Hospital. Johnathon asked if he could see a real helicopter land and then lift off again. Heidi realized the urgency of her request and began calling the Yakima Firing Center, then being referred to Fort Lewis and then being referred to other military and hospital contacts. After many calls and referrals by Heidi and her assistant, she was notified that the Army had a helicopter in the air and could be at the hospital in twenty minutes. She was able to talk to the flight commander and told him of the specific circumstances with Johnathon’s situation.

Wings so he could fly

Fortunately, Johnathon had a room in the hospital that provided a view of the helicopter landing pad on the roof of the hospital. The Army helicopter landed on the hospital roof and the flight commander and crew went into the hospital and into Johnathon’s room to say hello and present Johnathon with his very own flight wings. The flight crew then left and lifted off from the landing pad only to then inform the mother that Johnathon should continue watching out the window as they honored him with a “fly by” to complete his wish.

What we have once enjoyed deeply we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes a part of us.
~Helen Keller

All of these actions to fulfill Johnathon’s wish came to be in a very short period of time, less than an hour. Nobody knew just how timely and special this event would be to everyone involved, especially Johnathon.

He passed away shortly after the helicopter flew by his window. They had given him his wings so he could fly.

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