by Shelly Wales, Angel Flight Central
Five-year-old Neil, from Stockton, KS, was diagnosed with Chronic Colonic Epilepsy shortly before his second birthday after experiencing a grand mal seizure that lasted over an hour.
Traveling to medical appointments and dealing with the challenges of Neil’s medical condition has been financially and emotionally challenging for the Raynesford family. Michelle, Neil’s mother, shared that [Angel Flight Central], “has made our lives a lot easier. [AFC] has gone beyond the call of duty, we are eternally grateful.” She called Angel Flight, “a safe answer in an unsure world.”
Neil is now being treated by Dr. Richard Torkleson at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, MO. The primary focus of Neil’s visits to Dr. Torkelson is to monitor his condition and regulate his seizure medication and blood levels. Neil presently only experiences micro seizures, however, still has some developmental delays to overcome due to his condition. Thanks to being able to access the care of a physician specializing in pediatric seizure disorders, his parents and his doctor are hopeful for Neil’s ability to grow out of this condition, past childhood and “catch up” developmentally.
Neil’s father, Derek, travels to appointments as Michelle works at a local high school in a classroom for challenged teens. Neil has an older brother and a younger sister at home. Michelle says that Neil looks forward to his Angel Flights and tells his schoolmates all about his adventures in the air and at the hospital.
Angel Flight Central Volunteer Pilots Steve Carter and Garrett Warner first flew Neil in April 2004 utilizing Hays Regional airport after Neil’s parents were referred to Angel Flight by Gayle Hanson, medical services liaison for Kansas Social Rehabilitation Services. During visits to Children’s Mercy, Neil and his dad stay at the Ronald McDonald House to further ease their situation.