Support from NBC viewers gets Maddie home

A family is back home after their disabled daughter became very sick thanks to the kindness of NBC viewers.

Overwhelmed and grateful, the Strauss family is heading home after nearly a month in the hospital.

Maddie, 18, and her family were on vacation in Florida when she got sick.

Her family has tried to get her home to Indiana for four months.

Her only way home was in an air ambulance, a $10,000 bill her family could not afford. 

But NBC viewers chipped in and made it happen. 

Maddie’s stepfather, David Strauss, said, “I mean, we prayed and it’s, I’m speechless, loss for words and I’m so thankful for everybody.”

Now the non-profit air ambulance, Grace on Wings, is bringing Maddie home.

Grace on Winds pilot Hal Blank said, “In seven years of doing this, it’s the fastest I’ve ever seen money raised to get someone done.”

“I’ve always known that Maddie touches people,” Maddie’s mother said. “Everyone that she meets, the hearts, and makes people smile when they are having a bad day, but I never imagined that she would touch so many hearts.”

The outpouring of support has been so strong, Maddie’s mother and sister will be able to fly home commercially and their car is being shipped back to Indiana, free of charge.

They said they couldn’t be more grateful to the people of southwest Florida.

“Thank you! Thank you so much,” David said. “We are so blessed and honored that you have helped us and kept your thoughts and prayers with you during this time. We are not going to forget you guys.”

Now, because of the generous viewers like you, Maddie is going home to recover surrounded by family and with thousands of new friends.