Toddler “FedExed” 500 Miles When Parents Can’t Find Any Flights During Snowstorm

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Flying in an airplane is not the most dependable mode of transport – especially for those on a super tight schedule.

Last year, the Faris family had a traveling time constraint that was a matter of life and death. Nick and Jesse Faris live in Memphis and they urgently needed to get their 2-year-old daughter Brooklyn to the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago by the following morning for a liver transplant.

Unfortunately, a winter storm was passing through the Midwest and many roads and flights were closed without any indication of re-opening before the next morning.

Nick and Jesse knew they had to do whatever it took to get their little girl to the hospital in time.

Brooklyn was born in China with Alagille syndrome, which is a rare genetic disease that affects the health of your liver. In China, Brooklyn’s chances were extremely low of receiving a liver transplant in time to save her life.

So when Nick and Jesse heard about her situation, they decided to adopt her and bring her home to Memphis where she would have a better chance at getting the medical care that she needed.

They looked into every option possible for traveling to Chicago. Driving by car in the winter storm would take too long. Riding on a train would only get them there an hour before surgery which was too late for all of the pre-surgery procedures. Donors came through and even offered their private jets and $10,000 to charter a plane, however all of those options could be affected by changes in the weather.

Finally, a family friend made a few calls and found out that FedEx would sometimes fly patients in extreme emergencies. As they are not a passenger carrier, FedEx has the ability to make their own decisions regarding extreme weather.

When FedEx heard about the family’s situation they agreed to fly the family out immediately. Within 30 minutes the family boarded a FedEx plane to Chicago. “I do remember looking at Nick, and we were just shaking our heads because it was just completely surreal, the entire afternoon and evening events,” Jesse said.

10 am the next morning, Brooklyn was in surgery and after a successful 10 hour surgery she was reunited with her parents. After a month of staying in the hospital for monitoring, the doctors said she was healthy enough to return home!

FedEx arranged a special flight home for the family once again and they were greeted back in Memphis with a crowd of very excited people.

“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. “The way the story has resonated with people and inspired people – we’ve just been really overwhelmed with the way people have cared about Brooklyn and about our family.”

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