Teylor was 18 years old and opening a food truck at a local fair in Bedford, WY with two other teens when the unimaginable happened. As soon as the grill was lit, the propane exploded, filling the inside of the trailer with flames. Teylor was life-flighted to University of Utah, suffering second- and third-degree burns to 49% of her body. Her parents Shawn and Stephanie quickly drove the four hours to Salt Lake City to be with their daughter in the ICU, where she would spend the next two months undergoing life-saving procedures.
Following her time in the ICU, and with a long recovery ahead, the teenager had to travel back to Utah frequently for further treatments. “I had to go back to the hospital each week,” says Teylor. “My skin was so tight that we had to stop the car every thirty minutes so I could get out and stretch. A four-hour car ride would often take up to six hours.”
It was through Teylor’s physical therapy sessions that she and her mother Stephanie learned about Angel Flight West and were soon connected with Volunteer Pilot Stephen Bobko-Hillenaar. Since October of 2020, Stephen and his wife and Mission Assistant Joanna have provided 28 flights for Teylor and her family. “I don’t know how we would do this without Angel Flight West,” Stephanie says. “It saves us so much traveling time and helps Teylor get home quickly after painful surgeries. We are blessed to have such amazing, giving people in our lives.”
Teylor has come far in the two years since the accident, but she still has surgeries every six weeks. She’s also attending college, studying physical therapy at the University of Wyoming, furthering the distance to her appointments in Utah. “Because of Angel Flight West,” says Teylor, “I don’t have to miss an entire week of school when I have surgeries.”
Stephanie and Teylor are both sincere in their gratitude for Stephen and the other volunteer pilots who have make their journey to care easier. “I’m so grateful for Steve,” says Teylor. “Not only to him for flying us, but we’ve become friends. He even sent me a card on my birthday. We’ve become close, and I’m so thankful for his friendship.”