Good News: 87-year-old Millen lady rides hot air balloon

(Source: WTOC)
(Source: WTOC)
Updated: Feb. 22, 2018 at 5:51 PM EST
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STATESBORO, GA (WTOC) - A Jenkins County woman took to the skies of Statesboro Thursday morning to fulfill a lifelong dream.

It all happened thanks to the nursing home where she lives.

Grace Royal and others from Pruitt Health-Bethany Nursing Home watched as her dream came closer to taking flight even at age 87. It all started several weeks ago.

"Brigham came in and sat on my bedside and asked if I wanted to go on a balloon ride. He said he'd be scared to death," Royal said.

Brigham Hodges is the nursing home's recreation director.

"We discussed that hot air balloon and she got very excited. You could see in her eyes that she glowed talking about it," Hodges said.

They would take off from one side of Statesboro and land in another after an hour in the air.

When we asked Ms. Grace if she was nervous, she said 'I'm not nervous.'

The ride was made possible by a company called Second Wind Dreams which helps residents fulfill adventures they still want to take in their senior years.

"To be 87 and doing this for the first time, it's good isn't it," Royal said.

They smoothly drifted through the fog into the clouds and eventually landed in an open field north of town. Now the question becomes, 'will this be just her *first* balloon ride?'

"Would you do this again," we asked her?

"I would if they'd let me," she said.

The next time you see a balloon in the air, it could be Ms. Grace on another airborne adventure.

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