The Day That Pilots from Coca-Cola and the Navy’s Blue Angels Saved A Little Girl’s Life –Fiction!
Summary of eRumor:
In 1986, a little girl named Crystal Grant in Memphis, Tennessee needed a liver transplant. Her family got word that a liver had become available and that she would have to be flown to Houston, Texas for the procedure. Arrangements were made for a Coast Guard plane from Elisabeth City, North Carolina to pick her up, but the plane blew a couple of tires on takeoff and was damaged when it ran off the runway into a fence. Two of those who saw the Coast Guard accident and heard the story of the intended flight were the pilots of a Coca-Cola corporate jet that had just arrived in Elisabeth City carrying the CEO of Coca-Cola. They briefed the CEO on what was going on and he went to the Coast Guard station and offered his jet to fly the little Crystal to Houston.
Meanwhile, the liver intended for the Crystal was in San Diego, California. An airplane that was to fly the liver to Houston developed pressurization problems. When that news reached Elisabeth City, the Coca-Cola CEO asked his pilots whether they could also make a trip to San Diego to pick up the liver, but was told that would take longer than the amount of time that was left go get the transplant done. The CEO then got on the phone to, among other people, the governor of California. The result was that Navy Lt. Tony Less of the Navy’s famous Blue Angels precision flying team took off for Houston in “Blue Angel #8,” a brand new F-18 fighter jet, with the liver container safely strapped in the rear seat.
While all this was going on, the media in Houston began working on the story. Crystal was asked by a reporter whether she was scared. She replied,
This is creative writing on somebody’s part. According to Coca-Cola, the Corporate Angel Network, and the Blue Angels, none of it is true.
It’s an interesting eRumor in that it departs from the typical eRumor pattern of lacking specific details. The details are fabricated, however, and this story is a good example of the fact that even rumors with details can sometimes turn out to be fiction.
The Corporate Angel Network Does exist. It consists of corporations across the country who allow empty seats on corporate aircraft to be used by cancer patients who need transportation. A spokesperson for the Corporate Angel Network told TruthOrFiction.com, however, that this story about a little girl from North Carolina and involving the CEO of Coca-Cola and the Blue Angels is not true and is not the way the effort got started.
Coca-Cola told TruthOrFiction.com that they’ve begun getting inquiries about the eRumor, but that it is not true.
A spokesperson for the Blue Angels told TruthOrFiction.com that there is no such story in their history, no “Angel Silhouette” on Blue Angels #8, no Crystal Grant that the Blue Angels visit each year or have as the guest of honor as their performances, and that he does not know where the story originated.