Flying in an airplane is a commonly used form of travel for many people around the world, but not always the most dependable. Travel can become stressful and inconvenient for anyone who is on a super tight schedule.
In the Winter of 2016, the Faris family had a traveling time constraint that was a matter of life and death. Nick and Jesse Faris live in Memphis and they needed to get their two-year-old daughter Brooklyn to the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago by the next morning for a liver transplant.
Unfortunately, a winter storm was passing through the Midwest at the time and many roads and flights were closed without any sign of re-opening before the next morning.
Nick and Jesse had all of the odds stacked against them, but they knew that they had to do whatever it took to get their little girl to the hospital in time.
Brooklyn had been born in China with Alagille syndrome, a rare genetic disease that affects the health of your liver. In China Brooklyn’s chances were low of receiving a liver transplant in time to save her life.
So when Nick and Jesse heard about her situation, they knew that they had to adopt her and bring her home to Memphis where she would have a better chance at getting the medical care that she needed.
They immediately began looking into every option possible for traveling to Chicago. Driving by car in the winter storm would take too long and even riding on a train would only get them there an hour before surgery which was too late for all of the pre-surgery procedures. Donors came through and offered their private jets and $10,000 to charter a plane, but even all of those options could be affected by changes in the weather.
Finally, a close family friend made some calls and found out that FedEx would sometimes fly patients in extreme emergencies. Because they are not a passenger carrier, FedEx has the ability to make their own decisions regarding inclement weather.
When FedEx heard about the situation they agreed to fly the family out right away. Within 30 minutes Nick, Jesse, Brooklyn, and her older sister Rhet, who was adopted from Ethiopia, were boarding a FedEx plane to Chicago.
“I do remember looking at Nick, and we were just shaking our heads because it was just completely surreal, the entire afternoon and evening events,” Jesse told US Weekly.
The next morning at 10am Brooklyn was in surgery and after a successful ten hour surgery she was reunited with her parents once again. After a month of staying in the hospital for monitoring, the doctors declared that she was healthy enough to return home!
FedEx arranged a special flight home for the family again and they were greeted back in Memphis with a crowd of excited people cheering on little Brooklyn.
“I feel like in addition to just feeling like the hand of God was with us in this situation, we also felt a tremendous amount of support from our community,” Jesse told US Weekly. “The way the story has resonated with people and inspired people – we’ve just been really overwhelmed with the way people have cared about Brooklyn and about our family.”
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