As Don Jackson’s grandchildren fearfully watched him being prepared for transport in a STARS helicopter on August 30, 2011, the crew reassured them that when their papa was better, they could all come see the helicopter together.

It all started a few days prior when Don was admitted to Red Deer Hospital and was initially treated for pneumonia. A couple days later, his chest x-ray didn’t look good, and his wife Pat was told to prepare for the worst when his organs started to shut down.  Physicians gave him an IV dose of steroids and called for STARS to transport him to the University of Alberta Hospital in Edmonton for life-saving treatment.

There, Don was diagnosed with a rare inherited disease in which blood vessels become enflamed, and spent almost four weeks in hospital before going home to Lousana, AB, where he continued his recovery.

That December, Don and his family stopped in at the Edmonton base for that promised visit of the helicopter, and his grandchildren were thrilled to see the aircraft and meet the crew under much better circumstances.

“We are so grateful to all who aided in his recovery,” said Pat. “Thank you to the entire STARS team that was there that night – you have given us the most precious gift of time to spend with an awesome husband, father and grandfather.”

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