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Utah youth with muscular dystrophy gets his wish: a helicopter ride

First Published      Last Updated Aug 27 2014 05:24 pm

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Flight paramedic Jordan Fielding secures the head phones on Sean Anderson for his helicopter flight back to Stansbury Park, at the University of Utah Medical Center, Wednesday, August 27, 2014. Sean was born with muscular dystrophy and is autistic. He loves hospitals, ambulances and helicopters. AirMed granted Sean’s wish to fly in a helicopter.

Sean Anderson has seen plenty of hospitals and ambulances in his 18 years, but on Wednesday his trip aboard a helicopter ambulance was nothing but a joy ride.

Make-A-Wish Foundation of Utah and University of Utah AirMed teamed up to give the Stansbury Park youth a ride from Tooele to the U. and back to Tooele Wednesday morning.

Anderson's wish was to ride in a helicopter, but Make-A-Wish coordinators were having trouble arranging such a ride because of his medical needs, said Nathan Morreale, outreach coordinator for AirMed.

The 18-year-old was born with muscular dystrophy, and uses a ventilator to help him breathe. "So what better way to grant his wish than to put him on a medical helicopter?" Morreale said.

Anderson's father rode with him, and his mother and sister met them at the U. hospital. The pilot gave the Andersons a tour of the Salt Lake Valley, flying over the Kennecott mine and up the Cottonwood canyons, Morreale said.

"He's not much for words, but his father said the one word he could say was 'Good,' and he had a smile on his face,'" Morreale said.


Twitter: @KristenMoulton



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