It goes without saying that most parents would do anything to ensure the safety of their children. This is especially true in the case of a medical emergency.
Every parent knows that getting their child to proper medical care is one of their most important jobs… even if that means using rather unconventional methods.
When a blizzard prevented the Faris family from flying out of Memphis, Tennessee, when their two-year-old needed a liver transplant, they had to resort to outlandish methods to get her to Chicago—and fast!
Nick and Jesse Faris of Memphis, Tennessee, had been waiting several months to hear good news about a potential organ donor for their two-year-old daughter, Brooklyn. Recently, they received the call that they’d been hoping for all along…
Brooklyn suffers from Alagille syndrome, a genetic disorder that is capable of affecting the heart, liver, and other organs. For that reason, she’s been in need of a liver transplant for more than half of her short life.
So when the Faris family received the call that the Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago, Illinois, had a liver available, they knew they had to do whatever it took to get there. There was just one problem: a major blizzard was headed their way…
Nick and Jesse had only adopted Brooklyn from an agency in China 12 months earlier. They had hoped that moving her to live with them in Memphis would give her a fighting chance to survive her unfortunate medical circumstances.
So getting that call that Brooklyn’s name was on the top of the transplant list was just the miracle they were looking for. They were going to do whatever it took to get her to the Lurie Children’s Hospital.
When Nick and Jesse went to book their flight from Memphis to Chicago, they discovered that all flights from their airport had been canceled due to the horrific weather. Considering the urgency of the situation, they had to act fast.
“We considered driving or taking a train, but we were worried we wouldn’t get there on time,” Jesse Faris said in an interview about their unfortunate scenario. “It would have been $10,000 to charter a plane, and we couldn’t handle that financially.”
They knew that time was starting to run out, and getting Brooklyn from China to Chicago was an absolute must. This was a rare opportunity, and they were going to do whatever they had to do to ensure that she received that liver transplant.
That’s when Nick and Jesse sought the advice of the community of people they’d met through their page for Brooklyn on the Children’s Organ Transplant Association website. Surely, these people would know what to do…
So, Nick and Jesse posted a message on Brooklyn’s page. They were desperate and willing to do just about anything to get Brooklyn from Memphis to Chicago. They sealed the message by stating “Prayers for the family’s travel are very appreciated!” and waited for someone—anyone—to respond.
That’s when a friend of the family’s, named John Carroll, decided he had to help them in a unique way. He contacted a local children’s hospital, who in turn contacted the shipping company FedEx; they typically fly even when commercial flights are down.
When the local hospital reached out to FedEx to inquire whether or not they were flying through the blizzard, they got some good news. They had deemed the weather safe enough to travel, and they were going to continue flights as scheduled.
This was incredible news for Nick and Jesse. “They called and said if we could get to the airport in 30 minutes, they could fly us free on one of their corporate jets,” Jesse said about FedEx stepping in to help them in their time of need.
Before they knew it, the Farises were headed to board a FedEx plane to Chicago. “I do remember looking at Nick, and we were just shaking our heads because it was completely surreal, the entire afternoon and evening events,” Jesse said.
The Faris family couldn’t believe that, with the help of John Carroll, the local children’s hospital, and FedEx, they were on their way to get Brooklyn the liver transplant that would potentially save her life. It all seemed to good to be true…
Later that same night, the Farises safely arrived in Chicago, thankful for how courteous the FedEx pilot crew had been to them. Best of all, Brooklyn’s surgery was to take place the following morning.
After undergoing a successful 10-hour surgery, Brooklyn had a new liver, and a new lease on life. She would spend the following 11 days in the hospital recovering from the operation. For every one of those days, Nick and Jesse couldn’t stop smiling.
“Brooklyn is getting stronger every day,” Jesse said in an interview. “We are still wrapping our minds around what the future holds. With this gift of new life given to her, there are so many possibilities that lie ahead for Brooklyn!”
Not only did FedEx step in to save the day in getting Brooklyn to her surgery, but they also decided to help her with a flight back home to Memphis, too. When she arrived to the airport, there was a crowd of elated people to greet her.
Now, the Farises are enjoying their lives at home with their two children. They are just over the moon happy with what FedEx did for them. “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 said.
Wow, you don’t really expect major companies to stick their neck out for the little guy like that. It just goes to show that when people band together, they can achieve anything!
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