By Brittany Pieper – email
SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) – She's a happy baby, but 1-year-old Evangeline Henagan has had a tough first year. Her body can't process long chain fats, which effects almost every aspect of her young life.
"She is also tube dependent, she doesn't eat anything by mouth," said her mother, Brittany Henagan.
A tube attached to her stomach feeds Evangeline. When her doctor suggested a tube giving her 24-hour feeds, her mother wanted to explore other options.
"I'm not ready to do that. I want her to be as normal as possible, and we've heard that these doctors in Atlanta are some of the best. They might be able to give us a different way to look at things and maybe help her to eat by mouth," said Henagan.
However, the trip to see specialists in Atlanta was expensive and created a logistical nightmare.
"Taking a 1-year-old to Atlanta by myself driving would be incredibly hard and time consuming. She has to eat every 3 hours, so I'd have to stop and feed her and then get back on the road, and feeding her takes about 45 minutes," said Henagan.
The Henagan's didn't think the trip would be possible until Ed Angel, a volunteer pilot with Pilots for Patients told them he could help.
"It's an opportunity for pilots in the local area to help support families that are going through some trying times with different medical conditions," said Angel.
The organization helps patients fly to get the medical care they need.
"Typically, there's a specialized case, and we want to get them to the area that has the specialized treatment," said Angel.
The group is based out of Monroe, LA, but about 5 pilots in Shreveport also help. Angel has made more than 70 flights, and Evangeline was his precious cargo for Pilot's for Patients 800th mission.
"I think it's going to be life changing for her," said Henegan.
For more information on Pilots for Patients click here.