Have you ever had a wish come true?

Pat Sanders, Director of Activities for Oakwood Community Living Center, knows something about wish fulfillment. When she asked 88 year old resident Maxine Neel what her wish would be, if she could wish for anything, Maxine’s response was simple and specific: “Ride in an Air Evac Lifeteam helicopter.”

Maxine had always loved to fly. Her work used to take her across the country, and she relished those long airplane rides. When her grandson-in-law went to work for the Air Evac Lifeteam company, the idea of a helicopter ride over the city captured her imagination.

As part of the Second Wind Dreams program, Pat wanted to make this wish a reality for Maxine. Second Wind Dreams is an organization focused on “changing the perception of aging through innovative educational programming and making dreams come true for elders.”

Pat knew a lot of things had to come together to make this possible for Maxine. She enlisted the help of Maxine’s family, who jumped at the chance to surprise her and make her dream come true. With the assistance of Mark Pierce of the Air Evac Lifeteam, permission to fly was granted and this dream was ready for take-off!

On the morning of her flight, Maxine’s daughter, Patsy Little, picked her up at Oakwood and told her they were going on a short trip that would take about 45 minutes. Maxine had no idea she was finally going to get to fly in a helicopter that day.

When she arrived at the Air Evac Lifeteam helipad, she was elated to discover what others had been planning for weeks.

After the flight, Maxine’s words summed it up beautifully. “The Lord was with us all the way… It sure is beautiful up there. It’s a pretty city.” Mission accomplished! With the help of her family, Mark Pierce, and a wonderful, caring lady named Pat Sanders, Maxine Neel lived her dream.

In a wonderful article in the State Gazette (Maxine’s hometown newspaper) Maxine’s daughter Patsy Little is quoted as saying, “Pat initiated it. We appreciate Pat working hard on it. I think Pat was as excited as Mother was.”

Zig Ziglar once said, “You can have anything in life you want if you just help enough other people get what they want.” By helping fulfill Maxine Neel’s dream, Pat Sanders experienced a very special kind of joy.

Too often we get so caught up in the busyness of life that we miss opportunities to bring joy to the people we truly love. Everyone played a role in making Maxine’s dream come true, but it began with Pat’s simple question. It always starts with a question. Don’t be too busy to ask.

Whose dream can you help fulfill? Who can you surprise like Pat, Mark, and Maxine’s family surprised her?

Now, what are you waiting for? It sure is beautiful up there!