A helicopter named Abby

NEW ORLEANS -- Her name is being lifted high after her life was cut short.

The name "Abby" can be found on both sides of the blue and white helicopter from New Orleans Children's Hospital.

Her full name is Abby Nalty, and she was killed in an ATV accident on her family farm in Poplarville, Mississippi during Thanksgiving break in 2010.

She was 11 years old and just a month shy of her 12th birthday.

Her father, Morgan S. Nalty, says she loved to hunt and was always a very responsible driver when it came to her four wheeler.

He says his daughter spent some of the best moments of her life on that farm doing what she enjoyed most.

"Abby was an old soul. She has a spirit about her that was life affirming. She played soccer, and she ran cross country and track," says Abby's mom, Jill Nalty.

Jill and Morgan are the parents of the three Nalty girls.

Abby was the middle child.

"She lost control of the vehicle and hit a tree," Jill says as she recounts the tragedy.

Abby's father says that he did CPR on his daughter as they drove her to the Poplarville hospital.

They were life flighting her to Jackson, but she coded in the air over Hattiesburg.

A family close to the Nalty's saw an opportunity to do something to keep her memory alive.

They made a donation that helped the Children's Hospital purchase a very special helicopter that sports Abby's name on the sides.

"Abby and her story permeates what we do with our transport team, and it's also another example of where gifts from the community make a difference in what we are able to do for the children of Louisiana. We've been able to transport more than 2,200 patients from across the state and across the region," says Matt Schaefer, the senior vice president of Children's Hospital.

So, whenever you look up to the skies and see the blue and white helicopter named Abby, you will know of the girl whose light shone bright.

Her spirit is kept alive and stays on a mission to save kid's lives from across the region.

"When the helicopter takes off, it amazes me of how much joy I get out of knowing that this helicopter is going to life flight or go save a kid or help a child being brought to Children's Hospital," says Jill.

In 2017, the helicopter named Abby became a 24/7, 365 day a year helicopter that has a team dedicated to taking care of patients at any given time.

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