Family receives flight to hospital

Published 8:29 am Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The prayers of Washington Parish went with little Jett Self on Sunday afternoon, as he was flown by private jet from Bogalusa to Baltimore, Md., for a potentially life-saving treatment.

The 8-month-old Jett, the son of Franklinton’s Tylan and Brittney Self, arrived at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore a short time later to begin treatment for a rare form of leukemia. Leukemia is a type of cancer that attacks the body’s blood cells.

The Jett family rode in a caravan from Franklinton to the Bogalusa airport, where hundreds of supporters patiently waited to see them off. As the caravan entered the airport runway gates, Washington Parish Sheriff Randy Seal requested for everyone to gather around the Selfs’ vehicle, and then led the group in prayer. Envelopes stuffed with $11,029 in donations were handed off to the family. That money is in addition to the donations from the family’s online GoFundMe account.

Steve Basco of Ruston was the jet’s pilot. Along with Jett’s parents, family members who also made the trip were brother Cort Self and grandmother Rita Self.

Transportation was arranged with the assistance of U.S. Rep. Dr. Ralph Abraham, a Republican from Alto. Port Allen philanthropist James Davison, owner of Davison Trucking, provided the Beechcraft Premier aircraft to make the trip possible.

“My wife and I were drinking coffee about 8:30 on Christmas Eve morning when I saw on Facebook about a long shot in need of help,” said Malone Williams, Abraham’s field director for south Louisiana. “I took a picture of the post and immediately sent it to Dr. Abraham. He must have been sitting on his computer, because before 10, he texted me back saying that baby will be in Baltimore on Sunday afternoon.

“Dr. Abraham is a great guy. St. Jude is big to him. He donates his congressional salary to St. Jude’s Children’s Research. This jet was just a godsend.”

Seal said the outpouring of support showed the character of local citizens.

“That shows me there are good, caring people in Washington Parish,” Seal said. “We’re expecting a miracle. It was a miracle to receive the jet for transportation. We believe God is going to heal that child and the people of Washington Parish will see God is still God. We’re giving God all the credit.”