It's after hours on a Thursday night, our team receives a message you never want to hear: Emmanuel, a cardiac patient from Nigeria, has suffered a heart attack the night before his flight to India for surgery. He recovers overnight, but is not stable enough to board the flight with his mother. The airline cancels their tickets and Emmanuel now requires a doctor's letter (on a weekend) identifying a 48 hour window in which he is allowed to board another flight. The doctor’s note is acquired, but the cost of a new ticket on such short notice is ruinous.
As our team huddles for a solution, discussing timelines and an overshot budget, I open an email from Rebecca, a good friend of Mending Kids, asking if I want an upgrade on my way home from the Tanzania mission using her expiring miles. As much as my back and dreams of comfort scream "yes", my mind turns to Emmanuel. I ask Rebecca if I can accept the miles but instead use them to purchase last-minute tickets to save Emmanuel's life.
When Rebecca books Emmanuel’s flight, it all becomes real. She sees his precious face on his passport and the importance of her gift transcends any expectations. Emmanuel has since received life-saving heart surgery and will be returning home today.
All this to say how grateful we are to Rebecca and how things worked out. No one donor, foundation, or company funds Mending Kids. We are all part of the mortar that sustains us and makes our mission possible. From this act of unexpected kindness, we are hopeful there may be more friends out there who would like to help us travel another child to their life-saving care.
Is that person you? The next time you travel, please remember that a gift of miles can help us save one more child and become an investment in a lifetime of smiles.
Grateful that, together, we are mending kids.