A volunteer pilot since April 2020, Kosta Constantine has logged more than 27,000 flight hours in his trusty Beechcraft Baron. Lately, some of his most treasured time in the air has been spent with Nicole H. — including during her fourth birthday.
At a time when other kids might solely be focused on games and toys, Nicole and her mom, Mirna, have had other important things on their wish lists. In his pilot’s log, Kosta was recently thrilled to note Nicole, a frequent Angel Flight West passenger, was gaining weight and height — both key developments in her battle against leukemia.
Mirna and Nicole live in Lakin, Kansas, a small city more than 273 miles from Nicole’s invaluable chemotherapy and cancer treatment at Children’s Hospital Colorado in Denver. And with every treatment, the costs of travel, of medical support, of simply getting Mirna some time away from work could easily become unmanageable.
So, with a teddy bear held close to her chest and a stylish pink scarf wrapped around her head, Nicole (and her mom) frequently turns to Kosta’s steady wings and sure hand for support.
As a skilled pilot who recognizes the intensity of this family’s need, Kosta swiftly and safely gets Mirna and Nicole to and from the medical expertise they need at Children’s Hospital Colorado. That means no ten-hour round-trip drives to and from Denver. No financially draining expenses like gas or car maintenance. More time for Nicole to simply be a kid — and with her mom.
“I’m very happy to help this family out,” Kosta says. “They are wonderful people.”
Maybe that special connection is why, on five separate occasions, Kosta hasn’t just flown the family to their destination, he’s provided ground transportation, too. Whenever Nicole and Mirna need to get from Centennial Airport to Children’s Hospital Colorado, Kosta is quick to get behind the wheel.
That special commitment to rural health, and to going above and beyond for passengers like Nicole, is true to the spirit that has always fueled Angel Flight West — and to the non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) our remarkable volunteer pilots are eager to provide.
Article by David Radcliff