I invite you to sign The Manhattan Declaration

The Manhattan Declaration

Theodore's Memorial Video

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Prayer for the Dead, December 1, 2009

Fifteen years ago, December 1, 1994, in Ann Arbor, Michigan, I lost three friends and colleagues when the helicopter they were flying in crashed. The NTSB report of the incident can be found here.

I ask you to pray for the repose of the souls of:

Richard 'Rick' Elliott, Pilot
Janice 'Jan' Nowacki-Tobin, RN, Flight Nurse
Terry Racicot, DO, Flight Physician

I flew as a Flight Physician from January 1994 until June 1996, while in residency and fellowship. At the time of the crash, I was doing an 'away' rotation at the hospital where this helicopter was based. I recall hearing the helicopter lift off, and I remember thinking that I would be working a shift the next evening. There are many times I have considered that I could have been the doctor on that flight, and that I would have left behind four children and a very pregnant wife. I thank God for sparing my life then and several times since then.

Rick was also known as 'Captain America' because of his love for his country. He was an Army Veteran, as were most of the pilots, and was an excellent pilot. He also had a dry sense of humor. I recall, after a rather turbulent ride with a sick patient, that he told me something that I shall never forget. He said, while laughing, "Steve, sometimes I am just as much a passenger on this helicopter as you are." I never got that impression while flying with him. He left behind a wife and several beautiful daughters.

Jan was also known as 'Sky Princess.' This nickname was printed on the back of her helmet. She was an excellent nurse. She left behind a husband and a son and a daughter. Whenever things looked bleak, she always had a way of expressing her exasperation which I still recall, and it reminds me to pray for her.

Terry was someone I did not know well, since we never flew with another physician. I only knew the doctors who were residents with me. Usually our only contact was as we passed off the pager and the keys to the call room.

At the top is a picture of N217MM, the primary helicopter. Below is a video of an Augusta 109 warming up and taking off in Switzerland. It took about two minutes for the engine and all systems to warm up for flight, and that gave us time to get a preliminary report on the patient we were picking up, or the accident scene we were flying to. I also had time to pray an act of contrition and the prayer to my guardian angel.

Thank you for your prayers.


Kindred Spirit said...

I will pray for them.

Kindred Spirit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.

Our Lady of the Mysterious Decapitation

Our Lady of the Mysterious Decapitation
Now restored with the help of some cement!

Prayer to Our Lady of the Mysterious Decapitation

Mary my mother, take my hand today, and all days.
Lead me away from all occasions of sin.
Guide me in fulfilling your last words in the Gospel,
"Do whatever He tells you."

I am An Amateur Catholic Blogger!

Amateur Catholic B-Team Member