Senior Flight Director,
Wings of Mercy
I can recall my first flight with Wings of Mercy. As a Flight Director I wanted to take a flight with a patient so I could experience what it felt like for them. I had never been in a small plane and I was worried about how it would feel to be so confined. As I watched the plane taxi over to pick us up I expressed this to the staff at Tulip City Airport. They assured me that I would be just fine and once I had taken off on that beautiful sunny day my expectations of confinement would diminish. How right they were! I felt exhilarated as we flew into the clouds and I marveled at the tiny specks below and the huge puffy clouds. My patient slept most of the way but not before I heard her story.
I began to see how important Wings of Mercy was in patients‚ lives and how much it meant on the part of Tulip City Airport staff to be the greeters or the first face our patients see. They put on a wonderful face!
I have flown out and into Tulip City Airport eight other times. Once in a jet, twice in a C414, four times in a Seneca and lastly in a Cessna Conquest. I have flown to our CareAffaires (fundraiser, breakfast events), to Washington DC, twice to Minnesota, and also to Florida picking up/dropping off patients. I particularly enjoyed flying out of Tulip City Airport where their staff made me feel very welcome. I realized that this is how they treat our patients too and expressed how grateful I was. Many of the patients are very sick and even the smallest kindness makes them feel better.
One of those kindnesses manifested itself in a huge tub filled with blankets and quilts made specifically for Wings of Mercy patients by volunteers. We were so grateful that the airport agreed to store them for us. If I am not available to come to the airport to hand a patient a blanket one of the staff has graciously agreed to do this.
Tulip City Airport goes above and beyond to provide friendly, courteous service at all times. Our patients have expressed this in surveys we send after a flight is completed. One mother stated; “Please thank Tulip City Airport for their continuing kindness to me and my son. I feel anxious before I fly because I am worried about my son’s appointment outcomes. The office staff at Tulip City Airport continues to treat us so well, offering cookies and smiles. They watch for my plane and tell me exactly what time it will land. I feel they do an outstanding job.”
It is wonderful to have an airport like Tulip City so conveniently located in Holland for our patients. The stress of driving to a big city and a large airport and then finding the hangar with the plane for our flight is erased. Patients are also allowed to leave their vehicles at the airport and know they are under the careful watch of the staff. Thank you, Tulip City Airport for helping do your part in giving wings to those in need.