It’s no secret February is all about hearts — but not just the candy kind or for decorating. It’s also American Heart Month, a time dedicated to raising awareness and support for heart disease, as well as the importance of heart health. To mark the occasion, we wanted to share an update on a special friend of Envoy’s.
In early 2019, Envoy Vice President of Flight Operations, Captain Ric Wilson invited 8 year-old Easton Fryer to join Envoy as a Pilot for a day after learning of his love for aviation, as well as his Congenital Heart Defect (CHD). That summer, Easton and his family traveled from Missoula, Montana to Envoy Headquarters so that Easton could become an Envoy pilot for a day. The visit was a great success and the beginning of a lasting friendship for Easton and Captain Ric.
This past December, just five years after his original heart surgery, Easton had an important visit with the Pediatric Cardiologist to see if he was ready for another crucial surgery. Although Easton and his family are anxious to get the procedure over with, the doctor ultimately determined it wasn’t quite time and recommended continuing with follow up appointments every six months. Emotionally drained from the day, Easton and his family, returned home from the appointment to find a surprise waiting for them on their doorstep.
On the porch was a package for Easton – An early Christmas gift from his friend, Captain Ric. “It couldn’t have been a better day for it to arrive,” said Easton’s mom Sarah. “The timing was perfect, and it brought a huge smile to Easton’s face.” In the box, Easton found an encouraging note from Captain Ric, as well as an Envoy scarf and beanie set.
Captain Ric was happy to hear that Easton’s love for aviation is alive and well. He even asked Santa for flight simulator software, similar to what he was able to fly during his visit with Envoy at the C.R. Smith Museum. Easton’s mom took note and got to work putting an entire simulator package together to create a “closet cockpit”. Easton is now able to “practice” his flight skills and continue to nurture his love for the skies!