Justin’s Story

Charity Air Ambulance was recently given the opportunity to help a young man get the help he needed to improve and recover after the unthinkable happened. Here is his story.

On July 17, Justin Rhodes an active and vibrant 30-year-old male was thrown from his motorcycle in a hit and run accident where he was left lying in the middle of the road unconscious and awaiting medical help. He was then rushed to a nearby Florida hospital for surgery.  Tammy Bunting, Justin’s Mother rushed to his side. She remembers wondering if Justin would ever recover. Her sweet son was just minding his own business when his entire life was changed. Now she didn’t know what was going to happen.  Justin remained comatose after surgery.  Doctors were unsure at that time if he would ever come out of it.

Justin finally woke, but to his family’s dismay they quickly realized that he had some major challenges ahead of him on his road to recovery.  Justin received a very bad brain injury during the accident and will now have to relearn daily activities like walking and talking. Justin needed specialized care and it was clear to Tammy that she had to find it immediately. She found a specialized rehab clinic in Atlanta, Georgia. However, finding a way to get him there became a problem.  “I was told anything not considered emergency would not be covered by insurance.”  I couldn’t believe it,“ said Tammy. Already dealing with mounting medical bills, she didn’t see a way to pay for Justin to get to Georgia.

Tammy turned to social media hoping that someone could help. She started posting updates on Facebook, and reaching out to family and friends in hopes that someone could help get Justin to Shepard Center. One day, her prayers were answered. Tammy received a message on social media from her friend at the local police department. The message contained a link to Charity Air Ambulance and Tammy couldn’t wait to see if this was the answer she had been waiting for.

Tammy immediately got in contact with Wendy Amar, Care Coordinator for Charity Air Ambulance.  “Wendy was amazing, I think I woke her up it was so early, but she stayed on the phone with me and walked me through the process, while having her morning coffee.”

When Tammy found out that Charity Air Ambulance was stepping in to help, she didn’t quite believe it.  Here was this company that herself, family, friends, and hospital staff had never heard of.  She felt it was too good to be true and they said, “yes” whenever everyone else said “no”.  “I feel like they are Justin’s angel and we are so blessed.”

Justin’s transport took place on Friday August, 12th. It was also on that day that Justin gave a thumbs up to one of the medics on the team.  And even raised his arm in the air when the sunlight hit him as he was taken from the plane.  These were the first signs, that Justin was on the right track.  “The team was great, they made everything quick and easy,”

Justin started intensive therapy upon his arrival and is already making great strides. “Without Charity Air Ambulance, we would have been forced to settle in a place that would not have allowed Justin to move forward and get the therapy he needs. We are very hopeful and it is all because of Charity Air Ambulance,”

We can’t wait to see what Justin accomplishes next. Thank you for allowing us to tell your story, Justin and Tammy and for allowing us to move your recovery forward.