by Conscious Reminder
A 16-year-old trainee pilot decided to use his flying lessons to help the fight against the Coronavirus and bring essential supplies to hospitals in need in rural Virginia.
The teenager TJ Kim, a high school sophomore from McLean doesn’t even have a driving license yet but he is already thinking out of the box.
He created Operation SOS – Supplies Over Skies, an initiative to deliver medical supplies through air to seven different hospitals in rural Virginia that have been marked as critical access hospitals.
His first successful delivery happened towards the end of March when he delivered gloves, masks, gowns and other essentials to a hospital in Luray.
“They kind of conveyed to me that they were really forgotten about. Everyone was wanting to send donations to big city hospitals,” he told AP. “Every hospital is hurting for supplies, but it’s the rural hospitals that really feel forgotten.”
A recent visit he paid to a Woodstock hospital equipped the medical staff with extra 3,000 gloves, 1,000 headcovers, 500 shoe covers, 50 nonsurgical masks, 20 pairs of eyewear and much-needed hand sanitizer.
Kim said that the flight will become longer and he expects to do the final supply flight to Clintwood if far southwest Virginia.
“After I landed, all I could think about was going back up,” Kim said.
Kim’s father, Thomas, is the one who helps this teen’s efforts in collecting the supplies. Actually, he was the one who paid Kim flying lessons as a gift for his 15th birthday and now he couldn’t be prouder of his son.
His flight instructor, Dave Powel had only words of praise for the young pilot and his selfless initiative. He was blown away by the idea and the energy Kim out behind it, especially knowing how disappointed he felt because of the abrupt end of the lacrosse season, a sport he deeply enjoyed.
“For TJ to be more concerned with the needs of others in his melancholy state just reiterated to me how amazing this young man is,” the instructor said.
What an inspiring young man.
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