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Wings of an angel

Friday, 10th June, 2011

UP and AWAY: Chanell Semmens flew for the first time yesterday with Angel Flight. UP and AWAY: Chanell Semmens flew for the first time yesterday with Angel Flight.

Local girl and first-time flyer, Chanell Semmens, was taken to Adelaide this week with the help of Angel Flight.

Chanell (8), who suffers from Asperger's Syndrome, went with her mother Katrina to visit specialists.

Asperger's Syndrome is a developmental disorder affecting a person's ability to socialise and communicate.

Ms Semmens said they have been making the trip to Adelaide every three months since Chanell was four years old and it had become "very expensive."

Being a single mother of two children, Ms Semmens said she was very pleased find out that Chanell qualified for the flights.

"After reading the Angel Flight article in the paper I rang to find out if I was qualified," she said.

"It's a big weight off my shoulders that we can get there and back."

Angel Flight is a charity that runs non-emergency flights for financially and medically-needy people.

Ms Semmens said there would also be Earth Angels to pick her and Chanell up from the airport on Tuesday and take them to the hospital. Earth Angels provide transport from airport to hospital.

"Everyone is very, very generous," she said. "Their name means what it says; they are just angels."

"I'm very happy. I know there are worse off people than me."

Ms Semmens said Chanell was very excited about flying in a plane for the first time, and that she was also a little nervous because it was to be her first flight as well.

The Angel Flight pilot is Edward Goodfellow. Mr Goodfellow flew for Qantas for 32 years and he has worked with Angel Flight for three years. Tuesday's flight was his 51st with the charity.

"I had a satisfying career in Qantas. It was pretty kind to me. I'm giving back to what rewarded me," he said.

"It is emotionally rewarding to support a charitable enterprise that directly supports the consumer."

Mr Goodfellow said that pilots for Angel Flight give their time, aircraft and expertise. The fuel is supplied by Angel Flight.

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