Editors, Vineyard Gazette;

At the end of July, our niece, nephew and two darling grand-nieces, came to vacation here on the Island with my husband and me. While playing on State Beach in Oak Bluffs, our little two-year old choked on a piece of apple, aspirated it and began struggling to breathe. Because of the absolutely extraordinary care and kindness she and our family received here on Martha’s Vineyard, she is miraculously okay and back to her joyful, sweet and healthy self.

We extend our most heartfelt thanks to the strangers on the beach who ran over to help; the person who ran to retrieve the LifeVac rescue device, even though it couldn’t remove the aspirated piece; the ambulance drivers who came to pick up our nephew and his little girl Nikki from Edgartown and drove big sister and her Mom from the beach to meet the ambulance at the hospital and stayed with them until we could get there; the incredible emergency/trauma team at Martha’s Vineyard Hospital who saved our girl’s life, including wonderful physician assistant Dena Kosta; and the fantastic MedVac helicopter pilots, especially the calm, reassuring pilot Mike, who flew her to Boston Children’s Hospital in the middle of a severe thunderstorm where a specialist with a tiny device could finally remove the bit of apple that had lodged in her bronchus.

With our whole hearts, we wish for you all to know the same kindness, love and dedication that you gave to our little girl, her big sister, her parents and our whole family. You saved her and you saved us too.

With much love and gratitude,

The Altman Fein Family

Edgartown and Hastings on Hudson, N.Y.