Paul George, Pat McAfee arrive at Indy 500 in style, deliver green flag

Paul George made a spectacular entrance into the Indianapolis 500 Sunday morning. The Pacers forward was joined by 14-year-old Tori Gwyn, who was previously transported to Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health on a summer day in 2014. Colts punter Pat McAfee joined them for the ride, making the unique experience even more memorable for Gwyn.

Gwyn, a Paoli, Indiana native, was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in 2009 and was selected for this special experience “for her display of strength and courage under stress that exemplifies Riley patients,” according to the hospital.

Gwyn was rushed to the hospital a year ago after she developed diabetic ketoacidosis – a life threatening complication that occurs when elevated blood sugar and insulin deficiency causes the body to produce high levels of blood acids called ketones, which act as a poison. Gwyn will stay to watch her first Indianapolis 500.

Lisa Schlemmer, a critical care transport nurse, helped Gwyn last summer and was part of the chopper into the Speedway.

Going into it, George — who was in the 500 Festival Parade with coach Frank Vogel on Saturday — was nervous because he had not flown in a helicopter before, but also very excited.

“I haven’t had this much fun in a long time,” George said after getting out of the Chevrolet Camaro at the Yard of Bricks.

There, the three of them stepped up onto a platform, posed for photos, and handed off the green flag to actor Patrick Dempsey, who’ll waive it to get things started.

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