By Wyatt Earp | October 1, 2009
Just try and read this story and not get choked up.
Because of caring people and a caring company, a terminally ill little Green Forest girl was flown home Friday by air ambulance from M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, so she can spend her last days surrounded by the people who love her most.
Jada Harper, who turned seven on Sept. 1, has an inoperable malignant tumor in her brain and is in a coma with a ventilator doing her breathing for her. She has been at the famous cancer center in Houston since July, but her situation is now at the point not much else can be done to help her.
Friday afternoon, Jada was flown home to the Ozarks — on a gurney, attached to the machine that breathes for her. FedEx Freight paid the $11,000 bill for the special medical flight her family was unable to afford.
Damn. But wait, it gets better, though.
Tiffany Gilliam, a close friend of Savannah’s, kept updating Andrea Martin, Green Forest Elementary principal, with what was going on with Jada. Andrea called someone she knew at FedEx to see if they could help. She called the right person when she called Kelly Madewell, who is flight operations specialist at FedEx Freight in Harrison.
“This all took place on Thursday,” Wanda said. “The next thing we knew, Savannah called us from Houston, and she was crying and crying. She said they had called her to tell her that FedEx had a flight coming to pick her and Jada up and bring them home.”
Ken Reeves, vice-president and general counsel of FedEx Freight, told the Daily Times that Madewell “was the one who put this whole thing together, and Doug Duncan in Memphis, (president and CEO of FedEx Freight Corp. in Memphis), and Pat Reed here in Harrison, (executive vice-president and CEO of FedEx Freight), both approved for FedEx Freight in Harrison to pay for it.” (H/T – Harrison Daily Times)
There it is. Mr. Reeves took very little credit, when a lot of VPs would have claimed it for themselves. Instead, Reeves praised his employees for the incredibly magnanimous gesture, and can now gain comfort in the fact that FedEx is a damn fine company, run by damn fine people.
My son Erik and I are both big fans of NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin. Like a lot of NASCAR fans, I try and support the organization’s sponsors. Hamlin’s primary sponsor is FedEx, and you can bet I’ll be using them in the future.