‘Guardian Angel’ Pilot Continually Flies Ailing Boy to Hospital, Forges Deep Bond
August 2, 2015
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  • Here is Brayton martin’s life on the ground. Which frankly, because a lot of his has been spent in the hospital, has been kind of hard. But then, there’s his life up in the clouds. And up there, well, Brayton soars. And here’s why. The man at the controls, a onetime stranger to him but now a friend for life named Craig Groff.

    “I love him. I mean, what can you say? There’s a connection.”

    Now, this goes back some six years to when a very little Brayton was first diagnosed with a rare blood disease and needed to get to the far-off hospital that is one of the few places that can treat it. And an organization called angel flight east volunteered to fly him.

    “I got to see him when he was just a baby with tubes coming out of him. It just broke your heart.”

    Well, six years go by, a lot of flights back and forth, a lot. And a bond grew. Based in part on being up in the air. Which was about the only good thing about making the journey.

    He gives Brayton his own headset and Brayton’s learned when he can talk. He’s learned how air traffic control works.

    There’s another thing going on here. Craig doing this for Brayton saved his family thousands of dollars. Not to mention it’s helped keep him alive. There were times Craig actually slept overnight near the hospital so he could make the return trip without burning a lot more fuel. Today, Brayton is a walking miracle. He’s in remission. Oh, and he’s got plans for his future.

    “I want to be a pilot.“

    Yeah well. He’s got a good teacher for that as well as a friend.