The Red Cross brought my fiancé home when I needed him most


My husband enlisted in the Army in 2001, right after the 9-11 attack on the United States. I had not met him until May 2004, after he had served almost an entire year in Kuwait and Iraq. We had just gotten engaged and he had to head over to El Salvador for a humanitarian mission. He was to provide aid to the people living within the mountains. For two weeks, he was unreachable unless he came back to camp. Back home, I was going about my week as normal. I started to feel a pain in lower back which progressively worsened as the week went along. Finally, on a Friday night, I had my mom take me to the ER. After multiple tests, a very large mass was seen inside the left atrium of my heart. This mass was causing fluid buildup around my lung, which was giving me the back pain with every breath I took. A thoracic surgeon immediately recommended open heart surgery for Monday to remove the mass. Needless to say, I was terrified! And I absolutely knew that I would not be able to undergo such an invasive, scary surgery without having my fiancé by my side!! And here he was, thousands of miles away, in the mountains of El Salvador!! My in-laws immediately made a call to the Red Cross. They were able to inform his commander of my situation and the ball began rolling! Michael was able to call me immediately in the hospital. The next day, he was transported by a Blackhawk to San Salvador. From there, he boarded a plane and was flown back to the United States. He arrived bright and early Tuesday morning! Luckily, my surgeon was willing to push back the surgery until Michael got there! I was never so happy to see his face and feel him wrap his arms around me!! I truly needed Michael by my side, at such a difficult time in my life. And if it wasn't for the Red Cross, he never would have made it home in time!! I am so grateful to the Red Cross for delivering Michael home to me!!

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