The Delaware North team at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport recently helped make a special event even more special for a 10-year-old boy fighting a rare form of dwarfism.
Levi Krystosek of Ocean Springs, Miss., became the 100,000th flyer with Miracle Flights, a nonprofit organization that provides free commercial airline tickets to seriously ill patients so they can receive treatment and visit specialists throughout the country. Levi flew out June 22 from New Orleans on a Southwest Airlines flight to Philadelphia to see a specialist at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Del.
The dwarfism prevents Levi’s bones from strengthening enough to support his weight as he grows. His condition also has resulted in kidney disease, hearing difficulty and loss of vision in one eye due to optic nerve atrophy. [Click here for the video that was prepared ahead of the event.]
“Delaware North and the airport helped make the send-off an incredible celebration, joining Miracle Flights and Southwest Airlines to make it a memorable and great experience for Levi,” said Sayed Mekhemar, general manager at the airport for Delaware North’s travel hospitality business.
Fulfilling Levi’s request, Delaware North served his favorite cupcakes and played Jimmy Buffet music – and also prepared food for him and his mother, Dona Krystosek, to take with them on the plane. The effort was quickly acknowledged in an email:
We made it to Delaware safely. Thank you for such a wonderful send-off celebration. It was perfect. We face a lot of serious stuff all of the time and today was a gift. Seeing the joy on Levi's face made my heart so very happy. Thank you. Many Smiles,
Dona Krystosek (Levi's Ma)
PHOTO CAPTION: Sayed Mekhemar, general manager for Delaware North at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, pauses with Levi Krystosek during the celebration.