High School freshman who took a ride in a Life Flight helicopter, helps celebrate 40 years of service

SALT LAKE CITY -- Hobbling to the podium in crutches, Judge Memorial Catholic High School Freshman, Makiah Macey, told the crowd about a painful experience last month.

“I was running with my cross-country team and I slipped and fell off the trail,” Macey said.

It’s an experience that would've been a lot worse, if it hadn't been for Life Flight.

“It was the most painful thing I`ve ever experienced in my life," Macey said. "But once I was told that a helicopter was on its way, all of the pain just left my body and of course that only lasted for like three seconds."

Macey is one of 106,800 patients who have been served by life flight during its 40 years in service. Since July 1978, the six helicopters, two prop planes, and one jet have flown nearly 15-million miles to help people in need, according to Intermountain Healthcare Senior Vice President, Rob Allen.

“Each time they arrive, they extend life and they extend hope to patients in need and to family members,” Allen said.

Utah Governor Gary Herbert compared the agency to angels.

“These angels of heaven come at these times of need probably after fervent prayer from those who are in need,” Herbert said.

The governor praised its more than 400 employees with a special honor.

“I, Gary R. Herbert, Governor of the great state of Utah, herby designate today, August 29th of 2018, as Intermountain Life Flight Day in Utah."

A small gesture to commemorate the tens of thousands of lives saved these past four decades.