By Tonya Garner: CNJ staff writer
Jacob Thomson’s idea of a hero is animated, has the ability to fly and is usually referred to as super.
The cartoon-loving, Highland Elementary second-grader met a real-life hero Friday when Maj. Dan Mirski, Air Force Thunderbirds flight surgeon, made a surprise visit to Plains Regional Medical Center, where Jacob is battling pneumonia.
The 7-year-old, who was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis as a toddler, takes 26 pills daily and endures breathing treatments and vigorous chest massage to loosen the thick mucous that chokes his lungs.
Mike Thomson, Jacob’s father, said the youngster was looking forward to attending the Air Expo this weekend at Cannon Air Force Base. Since Jacob will require intravenous antibiotics through June 6, the Thunderbirds fan will be unable to see his heroes fly in person.
So, Mirski brought a small piece of the Thunderbirds experience to Jacob’s bedside by presenting him with a photograph of the F-16s in a flying formation signed by the six demonstration pilots. Jacob also received an official Thunderbirds pin, which Mirski positioned over Jacob’s heart.
Jacob said he plans to take the memorabilia to his school’s show and tell in the fall. When asked what he plans to tell his friends about the experience, Jacob simply replied, “ha, ha.”