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City manager returns home via Angel Flight

COVINGTON — City Manager Leigh Anne Knight returned home to Covington on Monday after being hospitalized in Panama City, Fla., following a heart attack.

Knight’s husband Scott said she was doing well and had a doctor’s appointment scheduled for Monday afternoon. Several blood clots were discovered in Knight’s heart following her heart attack last week. Scott Knight said doctors believe she may have a blood disorder that can be treated with blood thinners. Deputy City Manager Billy Bouchillon is serving as city manager in Knight’s absence.

Knight was flown home via Angel Flight, a network of pilots and volunteers who provide free air transportation for charitable and medical related needs. Knight was transported home by her friend, pilot Len Strozier, and pilot Scott Murwin in a plane donated by SPS Construction out of Lithonia.

The flight took an hour and a half each way and took off and landed at Covington Municipal Airport.

Angel Flight pairs general aviation private pilots with those in need of air transportation. The pilots or plane owners donate the use of plane and pay for all related costs including fuel.

Strozier has been a volunteer pilot for Angel Flight for 10 years and has flown about 30 trips, including hauling 138 air mattresses to a National Guard unit in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina and loads of batteries and flashlights to areas hit by natural disasters. He’s also flown children from out-of-state who could not afford the trip for post operation visits with their physicians. The attending physician of patients transported must sign off for them to fly.

One of his most memorable flights was transporting a woman who had been severely burned and was separated from her family while undergoing treatment. The woman jumped off the plane before Strozier could exit and hobbled on burned feet across the asphalt to get to her children.

“Imagine how fulfilling that was. That’s why I do Angel Flight,” he said.

For more information on Angel Flight, visit www.angelflightsoars.org.