Angel Flight

Angel FlightThe pilot relied on his co-pilot to call off
the pre-flight checklist. The gears, the gauges, the fuel, the wings—all were
in order as the co-pilot reported with steady concentration. Once completed,
they set off into the air.

Excitement and anticipation permeated the sleek plane owned
by the pilot, Mark Haywood. With a level of attention closer to reverence,
Taylor Peterson listened to every instruction as his hands took over the
controls. Though this was his first time as co-pilot, he had longed for this
opportunity since fifth grade.

For Taylor, now almost 16, this particular time in Haywood’s
plane was much different than the last time. Previously, his legs were both
immobile and completely casted. Taylor was born with cerebral palsy and for
years had to walk with his knees permanently bent until this surgery.

But in June of 2011, Taylor underwent a patella advancement
and femoral osteotomy, an operation that would restructure his legs and allow
for increased mobility. The challenges he had faced growing up were complicated
even further in pursuit of this procedure—the surgery was to take place in
De