Flying in an airplane is a popular mode of transportation for many people all over the world, but it is not always the most dependable. Travel can be stressful and frustrating for anyone who is on a strict timetable.
In the winter of 2016, the Faris family faced a time crunch that was literally a matter of life and death. Nick and Jesse Faris live in Memphis and needed to bring their two-year-old daughter Brooklyn to Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago for a liver transplant the next morning.
Unfortunately, a snowstorm was coming through the Midwest at the time, and many highways and aircraft were stopped, with no sign of reopening 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 started looking into every potential option for getting to Chicago right away. Driving in the winter storm would take too long, and taking the train would only get them there an hour before surgery, leaving them too late for all of the pre-surgical procedures.
Donors offered their own jets and $10,000 to hire a plane, but even those options may be hampered by weather fluctuations.
Finally, a close family member made some phone calls and discovered that FedEx would occasionally fly patients in dire cases. FedEx can make its own decisions about adverse weather because they are not a passenger carrier.
When FedEx learned of the circumstances, they agreed to fly the family out immediately.
Within 30 minutes, Nick, Jesse, Brooklyn, and her adopted Ethiopian older sister Rhet boarded a FedEx flight 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 10 am Brooklyn was in surgery and after a successful ten-hour surgery she 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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