Fantabulous, amazing, surreal, marvellous, awesome, beautiful…
The excitement was palpable as five Jemalong Residential Village residents and three staff members landed back on Mother earth after a 50-minute hot air balloon flight over Canowindra on Tuesday morning.
Their smiles stretched from ear to ear and words of wonder and amazement flowed freely after this once-in-a lifetime experience literally lifted their spirits after many months of COVID lockdowns and loneliness.
“It was such a positive experience for our residents and it was so peaceful and quiet up there,” said Cathy Slessor, Lifestyle Coordinator at Jemalong Residential Village, and one of the three staff members who went on the flight.
“Although it was a very early start for the group leaving Forbes at 4:30am, they were all very excited dressed in matching green Hawaiian shirts to raise awareness for mental health,” said Cathy.
“It was a perfect morning with clear skies and we saw so many kangaroos. The pilot even landed on a tree and picked a gum leaf for us. It was really special.”
The opportunity came about through Catholic Healthcare’s MyWish program which grants residents their special wish. “We asked the residents what they wanted to do, and one suggested a hot air balloon ride.” The five residents who put up their hands ranged in age from 78 to 82.
“The MyWish program is about promoting and valuing life at any age and providing residents with the opportunity to enjoy an exceptional experience,” said Daniel Stanton, Senior Communications Specialist, Catholic Healthcare.
Cathy said it was just wonderful to have been able to offer such a positive experience to residents.
The day ended on a perfect note with a champagne breakfast at Montrose House before they returned to Forbes where many recollections are sure to be told for a while to come.