A 7-year-old with a congenital heart defect was given the chance to fulfill a dream thanks to American Airlines and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. He earned his pilot’s wings.
William Kottos has wanted to be a a pilot since he was three years old, but the realities of being born with only half his heart have made that dream practically impossible. But American Airlines teamed up with Make-A-Wish to offer William a chance.
Watch this heartwarming video below–
I was working on Capitol Hill during the Hurricane Katrina disaster in 2005. In the lobby of the Rayburn House Office Building an around-the-clock assembly line of Hill staffers assembled care packages for displaced victims in New Orleans. I remember what irked me so much was that Congressman would come down with their photographer, stuff one bag, and then leave. But photos would appear in local press the next day heralding how much the Congressman cared about the victims…
That tangent is related to this story in the following way: this was a tangible act of love by American Airlines. It wasn’t just a quick house visit or a model airplane in the mail, but a real, genuine experience that must have been nothing short of thrilling. Stories like this humanize a faceless corporation and show that human charity is alive and well. Although I’m a
fairly cynical person, I don’t see this as a marketing ploy or anything short of genuine kindness.
I found this story on the Daily Mail and apparently it is a couple years old, but since it brought a smile to my face I wanted to share it with you too. I googled “William Kottos” expecting to find an obituary, but the little fellow seems to be doing just fine. Perhaps with medical advances and a new heart he may be able to truly realize his dream to be an airline pilot one day. In the meantime, what a special memory for him and his family even two years later.