Honoring a Husband and Father

A family chooses to honor their husband and father by supporting LifeFlight.

Lifelong New Yorker Lisa Jahrsdoerfer remembers many, many summer days spent swimming, fishing and waterskiing with her parents and brother in Belgrade Lakes. In those early days, the family stayed at Bear Spring Camps, a well-known sporting lodge, but they soon developed a deep love for Maine in general, and Great Pond in particular. It wasn’t long before her parents built their own little slice of heaven on the lake. Lisa fondly remembers her father, William Feeley, enjoying a martini on the porch while gazing out over the peaceful lake.

As so often happens, the family got busier and busier, and had less and less opportunity to use the house. Together, they decided it would be best to sell the cherished property to another family who would be able to enjoy it more often.

In February 2013, while spending a few days in Maine to get the house ready to put on the market, William fell on the ice and hit his head. Over the next 36 hours, he spoke with his family several times and was preparing to return home to New York.

But on the morning he was supposed to leave, his daughter couldn’t reach him on the phone. A neighbor went to check on her father and found him unconscious. The 911 call was made and soon an ambulance arrived, followed by the LifeFlight helicopter which landed just a mile away on the gravel road. William was flown to Central Maine Medical Center and his family met him there just a few hours later. Unfortunately, William never regained consciousness, but his family felt grateful for the opportunity to sit with him and say goodbye.

When Lisa’s mother, Juliet, learned that LifeFlight was a nonprofit organization, she suggested to her children that perhaps they could donate the proceeds from the sale of the house in Maine to LifeFlight. Lisa and her brother, Chris, agreed wholeheartedly.

With a bit more research, they discovered that LifeFlight was in the middle of a campaign replace the organization’s two oldest helicopters. Juliet, Lisa and Chris had all been impressed with how quickly the local ambulance service came to help William, and how well coordinated the entire response was. For the Feeley family, a gift to LifeFlight meant that their friends and neighbors in Maine would have access to the same critical emergency resources when they needed it most.

When the house sold the Feeley family made a generous donation to LifeFlight. Through this gift, the Feeleys made a significant impact on critical care transport for the people of Maine, especially those who enjoy the state’s rural character as much as William did.