NEW PORT RICHEY — A New Port Richey resident is being recognized as the Angel Flight Southeast’s Pilot of the Year.
Warren Cheatham was picked out of 600 Angel Flight pilots. His volunteer work has helped save the lives of many.
Angel Flight Southeast is a non-profit volunteer pilot organization that provides free air transportation to distant medical facilities.
Four years ago, an oxygen tank was Rosemary Cahoon’s lifeline.
“I had maybe 10 percent of my lungs left, which was not much,” said Cahoon. “All you think about is breathing because it just takes so much energy to breath.”
Cahoon badly needed a lung transplant, but the lungs she needed were at a hospital hours away.
“I was called down there for a transplant and I couldn’t make it because I didn’t have transportation,” she said.
But that all changed when she met Cheatham.
“He is a very special angel,” said Cahoon.
Cheatham is a retired commercial pilot and an Air Force veteran who helped fuel fighter planes during the Vietnam War.
For him, his love of being high in the sky never stopped.
“I still would be going up flying — I just wouldn’t be accomplishing anything for anybody,” said Cheatham.
Flying with a purpose and volunteering more than just his plane and time is what earned him his new title.
“I didn’t do anything special to win,” said Cheatham.
But Cahoon sees differently.
“I wouldn’t be here without him today,” she said.
The organization is always looking for new volunteers.