Dear Customers and Friends:

Dr. Jay Wellons, a pediatric neurosurgeon at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, once wrote in the New York Times about a moving experience involving one of his young trauma patients. In his 2020 guest column, Dr. Wellons told the story of a 9-year-old girl who suffered a severe brain injury in a two-car collision in Auburn, Ala. The accident happened over two decades ago during his first year of practice.

Time was critical, but a driving rainstorm had grounded the medical helicopter from reaching the children’s hospital where Dr. Wellons worked 100 miles away in Birmingham.

Knowing the girl had little chance of survival without immediate surgery, Dr. Wellons asked his staff about the Army Blackhawk helicopters stationed at a military base near Auburn. There was a little hesitation before the doctor implored, “You get the Blackhawks. I’ll let our operating room know.”

Within a half hour, the heavy thumping of copter wings was heard over the storm. Two soldiers, dripping wet from the heavy rain, soon walked into the pediatric trauma hospital with the injured young girl, now barely alive. The medical team immediately went into action with Dr. Wellons overseeing a complex brain surgery to reduce dangerous swelling.

Afterward, in the recovery area, the eyes of the little girl began to flutter as she awoke, signaling the first step in a long recovery. She would be noticeably weaker on one side with a slight slur to her speech but, thank God, she was alive.

Through the years, Dr. Wellons would receive occasional updates from the girl’s family until one day the mail arrived with a wedding invitation – her wedding – and a handwritten note.

“Years later,” Dr. Wellons said, “I was reading how thankful she was to have been given this chance. Grateful for those soldiers in that helicopter, the two hospital teams, and for me. She promised to always have us in mind as she began her new married life.”

Wow. Dr. Wellons’ story about this thankful patient who never forgot him represents the height of gratitude. In this season of Thanksgiving, we should all follow this girl’s lead, taking time to remember our own blessings with a “glass half-full” attitude.

As the late Rev. Billy Graham once said, “Thanksgiving – the giving of thanks – to God for all His blessings should be one of the most distinctive marks of the believer in Jesus Christ.”

Blessed to be a Blessing,
Greg Syfan
President, Syfan Logistics

“Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” – Ephesians 5:19-20