How Barbara Bush Helped A Chattanooga Family When She Answered A White House Phone

Thursday, April 19, 2018 - by Bea hicks

This is the story of how Barbara Bush helped us get our daughter, Janet Hicks Joujan Milanesi, back to Chattanooga from Zambia, Africa in Dec. 1988. 

She and her husband, Klaus Joujan, were missionary teachers with AEF, now SIM,and were on their way to boarding school in Sakagi to get their two daughters  for the Christmas break.  They were hit by a dump truck and Klaus died from his injuries and Janet's back was broken.

She needed much better treatment for her injuries than was offered there so the mission board officials were trying to make special arrangements. They needed permission for an ambulance to meet the Zambian airplane at Kennedy NY to get Janet on a stryker stretcher to an Olan Mills plane that was coming from Chattanooga to take her to Erlanger Hospital.

When I heard that I picked up my phone and called the office of the president of the United States.  The first operator who answered was not very helpful.  Within a little while I called back and the lady who answered the phone identified herself as Barbara Bush. 

I explained our desperate situation and told her we did not need any money just permission.  She told me she would see what she could do.  I thanked her and began waiting.  Within l0 minutes  I received a call from the head of the FAA who asked what help did we need.  He told me that would be arranged. 

I have no idea why Barbara Bush was in her husband's office.  He had been elected in November and she was probably helping prepare the office for his use when he would have been iinstalled in January.  But God knew all this because we believe he arranged it.

My husband, Charley and our son Gary were on the plane going to get them and, as they were approaching Kennedy, their plane was given permission to land ahead of all the other planes. 

One of the pilots asked, "Who is this person we are here to take back to Chattanooga?" It was our precious daughter and her four children who had been away for almost a year and God arranged for their grandfather and uncle to be there for them. 

I sent a note of thanks to Mrs. Bush, but did not have the opportunity to thank her personally. I would like for her family and all who read this to know how much she interceded in our situation and gave help.  You will be blessed as we are.

Bea Hicks

tn_hicks@epbfi.com


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