August 29, 2013

How's the Weather Up There?

By Angel MedFlight Contributor

For those of us here on the ground, checking the weather can be as simple as looking out the window, turning on the TV or checking our favorite weather app on a mobile device. Imagine though, how a pilot must prepare for weather conditions before he takes an aircraft 45,000 feet up in the sky. Pilots at Angel MedFlight Worldwide Air Ambulance are trained to handle every weather condition ensuring a safe and comfortable ride for the patient.

But what exactly goes into checking the weather before taking one of our Learjet air ambulances up? Kindle Tannery is Chief Pilot for the combined operations of Angel MedFlight and Aviation West Charters. Tannery says there are many variables a pilot looks at on a flight plan and weather decides a lot of those variables.

Once the pilot has checked the airport environment, for example runway conditions, Notices To Airmen (NOTAMS), he or she can then check weather conditions. In the summertime pilots are looking at thunderstorm threats, convective activity around the en route weather.  Tannery says, "You're checking for turbulence, cells that you want to avoid, and you'll find that all in your pre-flight planning."

Two of the most common sources pilots use to check weather are the iPad app ForeFlight and Tannery says ForeFlight gives pilots information on airports, NOTAMS, temporary flight restrictions (TFRs)  and weather.

Pilots will also look at METARs and TAFs from the National Weather Service. METAR contains hourly surface weather observations. Typically this includes the temperature, dew point, wind speed and direction plus precipitation, barometric pressure, cloud cover and heights and visibility. In case you're wondering what the acronym METAR means, it roughly translates from French as Aviation Routine Weather Report. TAF is the international standard code for terminal forecasts issued for airports.

Flight Operations Director Brandon Kearns says there are a number of factors which must be taken into account for each flight. "Rain, turbulence, headwind, thunderstorms, and even ice are just some of the phenomena which present challenges to flight crews for finding the ideal route. "
You've seen the satellite imagery and Doppler radar images on television? Pilots look at similar radar imagery and pay special attention to the colors on the maps. Kearns says the "colors are a huge thing. 

They tell you the levels of intensity on the type of precipitation. For a thunderstorm you're dealing with the greens, to the yellow, to the red and the magenta." Greens, pinks, blues and whites are often seen on maps in the winter. The colors on the map "give the pilot a really quick onceover as to what type of precipitation, where it is and the level of its intensity."

Kearns says the pilots also look at isobaric pressure lines and lifted index charts to see what the weather looks like along the route. These show the potential for severe weather such as thunderstorms and tornadic activity. "The lifted index charts measure the stability of the air and show how much moisture is in the air and what the potential is for the actual current atmospheric conditions to create a thunderstorm, " says Kearns. "And we can see even at 8 in the morning that around 2 or 3 in the afternoon it is going to be a nasty day."

During the flight pilots can often see weather systems hundreds of miles away. There is weather radar on board the aircraft which sends a signal out that bounces off the water particles  ahead and returns with a color-coded echo reading, measuring timing and intensity.

Angel MedFlight air ambulance jets have the ability to often fly above the weather. "And our pilots," says Kearns, "are operating around the clock in different parts of the world. They are very schooled on different weather patterns." This helps to ensure a high level of safety and also a comfortable ride for the patients and their family members.

August 27, 2013

Director of Canine Ops Revamping Twitter Feed

By Angel MedFlight Contributor
Angel MedFlight recently sat down (on the floor) with the company's Director of Canine Operations, Sam the Golden Lab, for a question and answer session about his reemergence in the social media world.
Angel MedFlight: Sam, as Director of Canine Operations for Angel MedFlight, I want to thank you for opening up your busy schedule to give us a few minutes to talk to you about your big social media news.
Sam: Great to appear again in the blogosphere. I like the whole blog idea. Blog...rhymes with dog. But to get back on point, what I'm announcing today through your blog is after a long hiatus I will once again be active on Twitter. 
Angel MedFlight: That's awesome news Sam, tell us more.
Sam: As Director of Canine Operations I have a busy schedule visiting various departments and offering my input on certain topics. I've also been traveling a lot and haven't been able to devote enough time pawing at my mobile device and tweeting. Twitter is a great tool to pass along news about Angel MedFlight and of course me and what I'm up to. Twitter allows me to connect to humans in short bursts. You'd be surprised what this Golden Lab can say in 140 words or less.
Angel MedFlight: You're obviously very talented Sam and we're glad you're going to be tweeting again. Where can readers find you?
Sam: I'm at the same Twitter handle as before. Look for my tweets at @caninesam. I'm really excited, excuse the panting, but visitors to the feed will soon see a much fresher look including a new profile photo and background. Right now my canine corps and I are going over design options but we think you'll really enjoy the fresh new look.
Angel MedFlight: What does the Director of Canine Operations tweet about?
Sam: I'll give updates on what I'm working on around the office. One of the most important tasks for the Director of Canine Operations at Angel MedFlight is to make sure when there's food in the break room, that I get a taste. Birthday cakes are my specialty. I'll also give my dog's life perspective on the weather, current events and every once in a while, a thought-provoking quotation. I also want to say I'm a huge advocate for pet adoption, spaying and neutering so you'll see some tweets about those issues too.

Angel MedFlight: What about photos and videos?
Sam: (pause)
Angel MedFlight: Sam?
Sam: Oh sorry, a cat just ran past the window and I got distracted. You asked if I'll post photos and videos on the Twitter page? My goodness, does a dog scratch? My followers LOVE to see where I've been, how I run the Department of Canine Operations and more. The multimedia presentation of that really helps get the message across.  I don't mean to brag, but I have a few female friends  who can't get enough of my photos.
Angel MedFlight: Sam, I want to thank you again for the opportunity to hear more about your Twitter page, @caninesam.

Sam: Sure thing buddy. Hey, sorry but I gotta run. Someone just threw a tennis ball. 

August 26, 2013

Much Going On at Travel Assurance Promise

By Angel MedFlight Contributor

As a letter-winning fullback at Northern Illinois University, Chris Montgomery would pave the way for the ball-carrier behind him. Now as the CEO of Travel Assurance Promise, he and his staff are opening up new pathways for travelers, offering a premium membership plan that offers its members medical transportation to their hospital of choice or the medical facility in their home state that can best take care of them. The TAP team continues to expand and the game plan for growth is strong.

Montgomery outlined what separates Travel Assurance Promise from other travel membership programs. "What other companies do that we don't do is they'll bid out the process, they'll go through an affiliate. So if you go to another company, say one through a major credit card, and you need an air ambulance flight, they'll send a fax or an email and take the lowest bidder they can find to get you to an adequate hospital,"  says Montgomery.  "That doesn't allow the patient to know who's flying them, where the crew came from and what quality of care they'll get." 

When a member uses Travel Assurance Promise for a medical evacuation, the company calls upon its preferred air ambulance provider, Angel MedFlight, which provides continuity of care. "You know from beginning to end, the Bedside-to-Bedside® logistics will all be handled by one company," says Montgomery.

Montgomery says another feature of  a Travel Assurance Promise membership that's compelling is you're taken back home. "You've heard the saying before, 'There's no place like home?' If you're in a hospital for an extended period of time, you'd much rather be closest to loved ones. And it saves you time and money. Because if you're in a foreign hospital or a hospital five states away, how much time does your family spend trying to reach out to you? How about your job trying to reach out to you? Or consider that you're out of network, your insurance doesn't cover you as much as it would when you're back at home."

Montgomery became TAP's CEO in April and says right away he met with experts in the insurance and travel industries to gain a better feel for what the traveler wants. "I think I did 12 lunches in 10 days, "says Montgomery.  What he found was that travelers do not want to deal with deductibles and tons of paperwork when they're sick or injured far from home.

Time is a huge commodity and Montgomery says that with a Travel Assurance Promise membership, their preferred air ambulance provider Angel MedFlight handles all the details of the patient's medical flight. Montgomery says he did a test with a major credit card company and "it took us a couple of calls before we could get to the person who could get us the ambulance service. Imagine being frantic, in a far away hospital, you call your vaunted special card service that you know you're covered with and it takes you two or three hours to get this done."

With a Travel Assurance Promise membership you are  immediately connected with a flight coordinator who manages the whole task for you. Montgomery says, "Imagine one phone call and being able to get this all done. It creates that worry-free feeling that we all want and secondly, it's a secure feeling that it's going to get done."

Montgomery says that his team's research showed the bulk of today's travelers are couples -- but when it came to looking at other medical evacuation coverage plans, he saw a shortage of plans available for couples. "So we added the couples plan in all the different terms we have." A Travel Assurance Promise membership starts at only $100 for an individual and $175 for couples/companions. For families that travel regularly, Montgomery recommends an annual family plan that covers as many as five for $495.

Travelers are covered at a minimum of 200 miles from home, so people driving a couple of states away should consider a Travel Assurance Promise membership. "If I'm traveling, I don't want to be stuck in Mexico. If I live here in Arizona, I don't want to be stuck in Virginia. I don't want to be stuck anywhere, I want to have options," says Montgomery.

The CEO sees unlimited growth for Travel Assurance Promise. "We're building our brand and creating an awareness campaign," says Montgomery. "We'll be sponsoring a Boston Pops event and also the PBS television show 'Travel With Kids.' We'll also be in the USA Today travel magazine."
Montgomery sees Travel Assurance Promise aligning with insurance companies, travel groups and teachers who travel and students studying abroad. He sees future affiliations with sports leagues and teams.

"In terms of growth, the future is very bright," says Montgomery. Bright as that clear path to daylight he used to open up as a Northern Illinois Huskies fullback.

Angel MedFlight is proud to be the preferred air ambulance provider for Travel Assurance Promise.

August 21, 2013

Get in the Game When it Comes to Concussion Awareness

By Angel MedFlight Contributor

With summer winding down, parents all over the U.S. are dropping off their sons and daughters at practice for fall sports like football, soccer, volleyball, field hockey and cheerleading. But while we love to see our kids exercise and excel in team sports, we as parents, school administrators and coaches need to be aware of the dangers of concussions and ways at preventing them. August is Neurosurgery Outreach Month and Angel MedFlight Worldwide Air Ambulance wants you to know more about the dangers of head injuries, specifically concussions.

First some numbers. According to the University of Pittsburgh's Brain Trauma Research Center, more than 300,000 sports-related concussions occur each year in the U.S. The center also says the likelihood of suffering a concussion while playing a contact sport is estimated to be as high as 19 percent per year of play. The American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) says sports and recreational activities contribute to about 21 percent of all traumatic brain injuries among American children and teens. In high school sports alone, the AANS says more than 62,000 concussions are sustained each year in high school contact sports.

Dr. Mitchel S. Berger is president of the AANS and says, "Regardless of your age, sport or competitive level, concussion and head trauma injuries are something that can occur to anyone." 
Concussions are injuries to the brain usually caused by a blow to the head and they can result in loss of normal brain function. Those who have suffered a concussion will often not be able to remember what happened immediately before or after the injury. The AANS points out that a concussion can affect memory, judgment, vision, reflexes, speech, balance and muscle coordination. The association says "there is no such thing as a 'minor concussion.'" Other concussion symptoms include prolonged headache, ringing of the ears, sensitivity to light and loss of smell or taste. If someone you know experiences any of these symptoms after a blow to the head, they should consult a healthcare professional as soon as possible.

Do you have a football player in the family? Dr. Berger serves as a member of the NFL's Head, Neck and Spine Medical Committee and says, "While football is a collision sport with inevitable risks, most serious neurological injuries can be prevented if players, parents and coaches take injury prevention and concussions seriously."

Football gets much of the publicity when it comes to head injuries but the AANS says while neurological injuries associated with other sports such as women's soccer, volleyball and cheerleading are less prevalent, they can be just as devastating. According to the American Journal of Sports Medicine, women's soccer is second to football in the greatest number of concussions reported by school-age athletes.

One of the best steps toward prevention is awareness. AANS spokesman Kevin Lillehei says, "Educating the public is one of the best weapons we have when it comes to combating these types of injuries." The AANS also stresses using the right helmets and protective headgear. It should be approved by the American Society of Testing Materials International (ASTM) for specific sports 100 percent of the time. Approved helmets will carry the ASTM sticker. Wear helmets and headgear that fit properly so they can provide maximum protection.

The AANS says helmets or headgear should be worn at all times for baseball and softball, cycling, football, hockey, horseback riding, inline skating, powered recreational vehicles, skateboards and scooters, skiing and snowboarding and wrestling.

Angel MedFlight Worldwide Air Ambulance wishes all of those playing competitive sports this fall a successful season but reminds athletes, parents, coaches and administrators to learn the symptoms of head injuries and concussions and ways to prevent them.

August 8, 2013

Angel MedFlight Answers: What Aircraft Do You Use?

By Angel MedFlight Contributor

Angel MedFlight Learjet 60 Air Ambulance
When you choose Angel MedFlight as your air ambulance provider, you are not only putting your trust in our highly-trained medical flight crews and experienced pilots, but our ARGUS/Platinum-rated aircraft as well. In this edition of Angel MedFlight Answers, we address some of the questions you may have about the aircraft as you consider a medical flight.

Angel MedFlight Worldwide Air Ambulance utilizes a fleet of Learjets and soon, the Cessna Citation X for its medical flights. Angel MedFlight is a dba. of Aviation West Charters, which owns, operates and meticulously maintains this fleet of state-of-the-art medically dedicated jets. Two-pilot crews operate all our aircraft.

We have our own air charter certificate (Part 135) and that allows us to control the quality of the aircraft we operate. Our planes have advanced avionics and safety features that exceed FAA standards. On the flight deck,  captains and first officers undergo semi-annual and annual simulator training in make and model aircraft being flown. They each maintain 1st-class medical certificates and complete FAA checkrides.

As you consider an air medical transport with Angel MedFlight, you probably wonder which aircraft will be used for your flight.A number of factors go into deciding that including the patient's condition, the length of the flight and the number of passengers traveling with the patient. All of the aircraft are equipped with the same life-sustaining medical equipment and experienced medical flight crews.

How many family members can travel with the patient depends on the aircraft being used. The Angel MedFlight Learjet 35s and 60s can accommodate one to two passengers, while larger aircraft like the longer-range Citation X can seat as many as four family members. The Citation X is the newest member of the fleet and after receiving a number of upgrades and modifications, the airplane is now in Wichita, KS., where it's  getting a sparkling new paint job.

How much luggage can patients and passengers bring? Because of the amount of space being utilized by onboard medical equipment and personnel there is generally room for no more than two small carry-on type pieces of luggage. Because of  the space limitations, we will make arrangements to ship other luggage and non-essentials for the patient and the family members.

Adding to the patient and passenger comfort, catered meals are offered when there are no diet restrictions for flights 3.5 hours and longer. We will accommodate special diets and special requests. Also remember that the entire fleet of jets will soon be equipped with Wi-Fi  so you can catch up on emails and surf the net during the medical flight

An air medical transport with Angel MedFlight means you can always feel confident the jet carrying you or your loved one is customized with the patient's utmost safety, comfort and care in mind.

August 7, 2013

The Bell Rings on Another School Year

By Angel MedFlight Contributor 

For this writer, it was the commercials, both TV and radio, that reminded me that school was about to start. "Back to School Sale" only meant major bummer to me. So yes, it's safe to say I did NOT enjoy going back to school. I would have much rather spent time watching baseball, traveling with my folks or just playing in the neighborhood. But with schools starting here in the Phoenix area, I've done a small sampling of employees here at Angel MedFlight Worldwide Air Ambulance and have found that unlike me, there are people who actually enjoyed getting back to the "Three R's." I also found that for the most part, parents are glad to get their youngsters back to school and out of the nest for nine months.

Sharon Mico is our Quality Assurance Manager at Angel MedFlight. Sharon says she always looked forward to getting back to school because she'd see friends she didn't get to see over the summer. Her son is now grown but as a parent she says she was always happy when the start of the fall semester came around.  School, she says, "remedied a couple of different problems that would grow over the long summer." Mico says that number one, "I wouldn't  hear 'I'm bored' for another nine months. Number two, being able to reinforce that 8:30 p.m. bedtime!"

Patti Leong works in our Claims Department and is the mother of three children, the oldest attends college but lives at home.  She's relieved to have them going back to school, because at home during summer vacation "they eat all day long." And Leong says less food consumed means "more money."  Leong graduated from El Cajon High School near San Diego and also enjoyed going back to school to see friends she missed during the summer months. When it comes to advice she can give other parents getting kids ready for "Back to School" she says, "Buy your stuff early, and not all at once. It's easier on the pocketbook."

Angel MedFlight Graphics Designer Cooper Bolton grew up in Waddell, Ariz., and went to elementary school near Luke Air Force Base. It's too far back for him to remember but his mom tells the story that Bolton was so excited to be going to first grade on an Air Force base that on the first day of school he wore military camouflage shirt and pants to school. Bolton likes to wear hats. Trouble is, his sixth grade teacher, Miss Ault, always took them because he wouldn't take them off. Somewhere in the West Valley there is a box of confiscated hats waiting for Cooper Bolton.

Nate Prince, in our Legal Department, grew up in Lanham, Md., and looked forward to going back to school so he could show off his new clothes and shoes. Prince says as a kid, he could see the front of the school from the front door of his house and it was obvious the start of school was coming soon because he could see the increased activity and number of cars on the school grounds. His first grade teacher, Miss Martin comes to mind. "She had a thing for turtles, " says Prince, adding that paper turtles were used as decorations all over the classroom.

Marketing Manager Rebeka Kanigan has two boys, ages 13 and 5. To her it's not so much being happy the kids are out of the house when the school semester starts, but getting them back into the structured lifestyle. "They thrive when there is structure and they are busy," says Kanigan. "I find summer here (in Scottsdale, Ariz.) is tough because they can't run outside all day" like she did growing up in Connecticut. "You can only swim so long and play video games so long," says Kanigan. Her youngest is starting kindergarten and she admits she has bittersweet feelings about sending him off to school.

Chief Administrative Officer Rebecca Van Pelt says she "loved the back to school shopping every year! The new clothes, new shoes, new supplies -- I couldn't wait until the first day of school so I could wear all of my new stuff at North Brookfield (Mass.) Elementary/Junior and Senior High School."

Van Pelt says she's both excited and nervous about the start of the new school year for her son, who is starting middle school. "That's a big deal," says Van Pelt.  She's glad he'll have more constructive efforts consuming his days, "but the new challenges that will come with this developmental stage have me on edge."

"Send your child off to school on a positive note," Van Pelt advises other parents. "Life is busy, life is stressful, and most of the time, kids don't want to go to school. But cherish the moment each day, starting the day  off in a positive way can have such a big effect on the rest of the day."

Angel MedFlight Worldwide Air Ambulance wishes you all a happy and safe school year.

Name in Lights: A Motivator in the Claims Department

By Angel MedFlight Contributor

Imagine life on the front lines of the Angel MedFlight claims department. Hardworking team members on the phones with insurance companies steadfastly laboring to get a patient's claim paid in full. As one can imagine this constant tug-of-war can be taxing. But thanks to some recent implementations the claims department is finding more effective and fun ways to get results and strengthen our commitment to patient advocacy. 
Cassandra Graper (front row, center) and the Claims Department after a coffee and doughnuts break

First some explanation of what our claims department does. Number one, it must make sure claims are submitted to the insurance company and submitted correctly. Chief Strategy Officer Cassandra Graper says the claim must reflect the services the company provided. Secondly, the department must follow up on those submitted claims and make certain they are processed in a timely manner according to government regulations. "If they have 30 days to give us a response, you make sure that a response is given within 30 days and that they don't go over that time," says Graper. Finally, our claims department makes certain claims are given a fair and full review by the insurance companies.

Graper says it's important to investigate the plan language to make sure the insurance company actually referred to plan language in that denial. Who denied it? Was it a medical professional? What is their medical background? Do they have a specialty in anything?  What documents were reviewed to reach the  decision?  "We make sure that all the information we provided to the insurance company was used to make their decision.  If it's not, that's not a fair and full review," says Graper.  When asked if she thinks consumers would be surprised at the number of claims that do not get a fair and full review, Graper responded with an emphatic "Yes."

The Angel MedFlight claims department sets team goals and now Graper says,  there are fun ways to keep track of those goals. By using a specially designed web application, team members in the claims department can see real-time results posted on an electronic display in the office. Our team members see fireworks displayed on a big screen when a payment is made. And when a claim is paid in full, the retainer is given back to the patient.

The leader board application that has been implemented helps boost morale, motivates our claims department members and helps boost performance. When goals are reached, team members see animated displays of a soccer ball hitting the back of a goal's net. These displays bring a smile to the face of the employee and motivate another employee to see what he or she can do to achieve the performance of the person next to them. But Graper points out that success of the team is paramount and that any added performance by an individual only boosts the success of the team. Graper says she saw the same results in the flight coordination department and thought it would be beneficial in claims as well.

Graper says the battle with insurance companies can be taxing and the real-time leader boards and fireworks on the big screen in our claims office help promote a "healthy competition" and "keeps team members motivated to keep pushing."

Angel MedFlight Worldwide Air Ambulance is committed to patient advocacy.  "It's easy to take no for an answer" from insurance companies, " says Graper. "We don't." 

August 2, 2013

Angel MedFlight Provides Lifesaving Transport and Winning Patient Advocacy

Sunday and Sal Messina

By Angel MedFlight Contributor

Less than a week after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery in Maine, Sal and Sunday Messina's  teen-aged son was complaining of increasing and constant pain. Sunday Messina had grown quite concerned and knew her son needed urgent attention. After emergency surgery, doctors at the hospital in Maine said they couldn't take care of her son and that he needed a higher level of care.
The 16-year-old  needed air ambulance transport. Angel MedFlight Worldwide Air Ambulance stepped in and provided unparalleled patient care not only during the medical flight, but for years after.

Hospitalized in Maine, the son had a serious infection that doctors there were unable to get under  control, his white blood count was soaring and they recommended the patient be transferred to a "tertiary treating medical facility." The boy could not be admitted to closer hospitals in Boston, New York and New Jersey. The closest facility that could handle the patient's needs was in Tampa, Fla.  "A surgeon said to us, 'You need to get your son out of this hospital because we can't save him here.'  It was a smaller hospital and that's when we knew we were in a desperate situation," says Sunday Messina. 

How did the Messina's decide upon Angel MedFlight? "It was kind of a miracle that was meant to happen, " says Sunday. "We knew we had to transport our son immediately. I went online, there was a list of different medical flight companies and the name of your company kind of spoke to me and that was it."

 Sal Messina says Angel MedFlight "turned out to be a guardian angel." Angel MedFlight gave the Messina family, "just a complete feeling of confidence and comfort." Sunday says when Angel MedFlight's medical flight crew arrived at the hospital in Maine she knew her son was getting the best care.  "If someone is going to save his life, this is the time. They loaded him up, they put him on that plane and I think from that moment on, I knew in my heart that it was going to be okay."

Angel MedFlight's team of critical care flight nurses and paramedics transported the young man to a hospital in Tampa  that was able to give him the higher level of care he needed. But Angel MedFlight's patient care does not end once we leave the receiving facility. Sal and Sunday's son was on the road to recovery but the family's insurance company claimed his air ambulance  flight to Tampa was not medically necessary and withheld benefits to pay for the flight.

That's when Angel MedFlight's experts in claims and insurance law  took over, writing not one but two appeals to the insurance company. Both were denied.  But Angel MedFlight is committed to advocating for the patient and wanted nothing more than to return the Messina's retainer check to them.

Angel MedFlight has a highly-skilled legal department which is specially trained in cases involving the Employee  Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), a federal law that governs most health insurance policies. Our legal team went to bat for the Messinas and in January 2013, a Federal District Court judge ruled the insurance company would have to pay the full amount of the air ambulance services rendered by Angel MedFlight.

Winning patient care on two levels. A lifesaving medical flight for the Messina's son and a claims and legal team that advocated for the family and secured insurance benefits, benefits the insurance company deemed were not medically necessary. "When you're in a life or death situation, the last thing you want to be dealing with is insurance companies and making important decisions.  Angel MedFlight knew exactly what needed to be done and we were just along for the ride and full of confidence the whole time."

Today Sunday Messina says her son is just a regular guy, becoming a man and we're super grateful. His father Sal says he doesn't wish this type of medical emergency on anyone. "But if it does, thank God for Angel MedFlight."

August 1, 2013

Thankful They Chose Angel MedFlight

By Angel MedFlight Contributor

Definitions for the word testimonial include: "Something given in appreciation of a person's service or achievement." At Angel MedFlight Worldwide Air Ambulance we get many notes of thanks and appreciation of our service. It is those cards, letters and face-to-face meetings that mean so much to not only our employees but our prospective clients.

Sergeant First Class Benjamin Rye and wife Katie

Among the many patient transports we've completed over the past six years there are a few that stand out. Take for example the story of Sergeant First Class Benjamin Rye, an Army Ranger who served six tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, only to suffer severe traumatic brain injuries in an auto accident.

The 29-year-old Rye would need to learn to eat, speak and walk again. He needed specialized rehabilitation far from home and the only way he could make the cross country trips was on an air ambulance. Angel MedFlight was chosen to transport Rye and his wife Katie could not have been happier with the service our team provided. "I knew everything was being taken care of," Mrs. Rye said of the medical flight arrangements. "I felt very comfortable, and Ben felt very comfortable. It was awesome."

Through years of rehabilitation, Sgt. 1st Class Rye continues to make amazing progress. He walks with assistance, speaks and is re-learning daily activities. 

* * *

Betty Foreman was in a race against the clock. Fighting a losing battle against polycystic kidney disease, the 19-year-old  needed a kidney and liver transplant. With her health deteriorating , she moved to the top of the organ recipient list. When the call finally came that a new liver and kidney were available, Betty's mother reached out to Angel MedFlight, as a commercial flight would jeopardize Betty's weakened immune system.
Betty Foreman

Within hours of her mother Nancy's call to our flight coordination team, Betty and her parents took off from Dallas for the 1,377-mile flight to New York for the transplant at Mt. Sinai Hospital. But as Betty prepared for her surgery, there came devastating news  -- the donor liver was not viable and the operation had to be postponed until a new organ became available.

A  month later, Betty learned from Mt. Sinai that new organs were available and the donor liver and kidney were ideal for transplantation. Once again, Betty and her family put their trust in Angel MedFlight for the air ambulance transport.

"We tremendously appreciate the care and support the Angel MedFlight team provided Betty up to this point, " said Nancy.  "They kept Betty as comfortable and healthy as possible while she waited for transplant. We'd like to thank Angel MedFlight for their expertise and kind compassion."

These are just two of the many families that have put the care of their loved ones in the hands of the Angel MedFlight -- an innovative leader in the air ambulance industry.