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Bowman had a limited supply of Demerol and Valium, which she intended to divide up among the survivors.
"No," said Willy. "Please give my share to somebody else." While his dad's body remained in the fuselage, he spent the night under the wing, huddling for warmth with Bowman.
Some 17 hours after the crash Willy was airlifted to the Providence Medical Center in Anchorage. And what did he remember of that flight? "Not too much," says Willy. "I had to pee really bad when I got there. It'd been about 12 hours... ."
A few days later Andrew handed him the phone. Harbaugh wanted to talk to Willy. "He's a hero," says Harbaugh, recalling that conversation. "I wanted to talk to a hero."
They chatted for a while, and then the coach offered the 13-year-old tight end a scholarship to play for Stanford one day. "I'll think about it," said Willy.
There is a six-inch step down from the kitchen to the living room in the Phillipses' spacious house in Darnestown, Md. It was Janet's habit to embrace her husband while standing atop that step, with him below. "That way," she explains, "I could wrap my arms around his shoulders, and we'd be eye-to-eye."
Thus entwined, a fortnight before he died, they spoke of how their lives were changing. With three of the four boys out of high school, they no longer had to wait up for them on weekend nights. "They'd all picked schools perfect for them," says Janet. "They were flourishing." So the couple stood, embracing and allowing themselves a glimpse of the future. "We are going to have so much fun," she remembers saying.
Janet is vibrant, engaging and attractive. She is also, depending on the day, a self-described "blithering mess." She apologizes for the stacks of items dotting the dining and living rooms. Books, clothes, shoes. The family has lived in the house for 23 years, but Janet has decided to sell it. "Bill filled it up," she says, "but it's too big without him."
Sealed in Ziploc bags on the dining room table are some of his personal effects, recovered from the crash site. In one bag are his Tag Heuer watch and his wedding ring, both of which flew off on impact. In another are his wallet and billfold. Do these items, these reminders, make her sad? On the contrary, she replies.
On a table in the living room is a four-page, handwritten letter from Harbaugh that Janet has reread countless times. You also must find comfort in knowing that the amazing qualities we all see in Andrew have come from you and Bill... .