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Article Type: News

U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds Visits Kids at AdventHealth Daytona Beach

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U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds Visits Kids at AdventHealth Daytona Beach

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., February 21, 2020 – In town to perform a stadium flyover during the DAYTONA 500, the U.S. Air Force’s official air demonstration squadron, also known as the Thunderbirds, visited patients at AdventHealth Daytona Beach on Feb. 14. 

The Thunderbirds first visited the hospital’s 10-bed inpatient pediatric unit that is brightly colored and inspired by the spirit of Daytona Beach, featuring designs of ocean waves, palm trees, and dolphins, as well as cars racing on a track, chairs in the shape of tires and tool chests, and blimps. Patient Alexander Arnold, 6, of Bunnell, shared that he planned to sit by the window to watch the Thunderbirds practice for the flyover during the DAYTONA 500. 

The surprise visit especially made the day for Eugene Lamont Gore Jr. in the hospital’s eight-bed pediatric ER that provides 24/7 emergency care for children. The six-year-old from Daytona Beach shared that he wants to become a pilot when he grows up.

In the 16-bed Level II neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), the Thunderbirds met some of AdventHealth Daytona Beach’s smallest patients, six-day-old twins Ava and Harper Schoppert and their parents Leah Woodward and Nick Schoppert. Caring for newborns 32-weeks and older, AdventHealth Daytona Beach’s is the only NICU in Volusia County with private, family-centered rooms, allowing parents to stay 24-hours a day with their babies. The DeLand family welcomed the chance to meet the airmen, as they have family members who also served in the U.S. Air Force.

The next stop on the Thunderbirds tour was the hospital’s 32-bed inpatient rehabilitation center, greeting patients who were also military veterans. 

Established in 1953, “America’s Ambassadors in Blue” are the third-oldest formal flying aerobatic team in the world – where they tour both domestically and internationally, performing aerobatic formation and solo flying in specially marked aircraft.

About AdventHealth Daytona Beach
AdventHealth Daytona Beach has 362-beds and is one of the six hospitals in Flagler, Lake and Volusia counties that composes the AdventHealth Central Florida Division - North Region. Based in Altamonte Springs, AdventHealth is a connected system of care. With more than 80,000 team members, AdventHealth is one of the nation’s largest faith-based health care systems with nearly 50 hospitals and hundreds of care sites in nearly a dozen states. With the mission of Extending the Healing Ministry of Christ, AdventHealth Daytona Beach provides whole person care to heal the body, mind and spirit. For more information about AdventHealth Daytona Beach, visit AdventHealthDaytonaBeach.com. 

Photo Caption:
In town to perform a stadium flyover during the DAYTONA 500, the U.S. Air Force’s official air demonstration squadron, also known as the Thunderbirds, visited AdventHealth Daytona Beach’s 10-bed inpatient pediatric unit. Pictured here, Dr. Noel Colls, a lieutenant colonel and Thunderbirds flight surgeon, talks to Alexander Arnold, 6, of Bunnell. 

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