A High-Stakes Worldwide Air Ambulance Trip: One Year Later
Last year, MedFlight911 air ambulance had the honor of participating in a high-stakes air medical transport from Lviv, Ukraine, to Boston, Massachusetts. Since it has been one year since that dramatic trip, I thought I'd recap the story here, in case you missed it the first time.
The situation: We received a call from a children's hospital in Boston. The doctor who called us explained that a terrible house fire in Lviv, Ukraine, had taken the lives of almost an entire family – grandparents, parents, and several children. Three children had survived the blaze, but they had life-threatening injuries. No hospital in their home country could offer the treatment they needed, but the members of their local community had come together to pay for the kids to travel to the U.S. to get care. Of course, we agreed to coordinate the transport.
The dilemma: A worldwide air ambulance trip is almost always more complicated than a domestic one, since you have to deal with crossing international borders, pilot duty restrictions, and other issues. In this case, the situation was even more complex because of the serious nature of the children's injuries and severe cold on the ground in Lviv. Tragically, as we worked to finalize the details of the transport, we learned that two of the three children had died of their injuries. With that in mind, we redoubled our efforts to save the other child, an 11-year-old boy who had burns over 99.5% of his body.
The transport: After a lot of international phone calls and coordination, the trip to Ukraine got underway. In addition to two sets of pilots, we also traveled with a specially trained pediatric medical crew. Once we arrived in Ukraine, the medical team set about evaluating the boy's condition and then getting him onto the plane – no easy feat in sub-zero temperatures with a patient in critical condition. Then, we took off for our 14-hour journey to Boston, with the patient in a medically-induced coma. Fortunately, the journey went smoothly, and our team delivered the boy to the doctors in Boston in stable condition.
The outcome: After arriving at the hospital in Boston, doctors went to work right away treating the patient's injuries. Tragically, the young boy was not able to win the fight for his life, and he died a month after arriving in Boston.
As tragic as this story is, looking back one year later, we are incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to be involved with this very special transport.
Read the complete story:
Part 1: The First Call
Part 2: Race Against Time
To find out more about MedFlight911's international air ambulance services, give us a call at 888-359-1911 or get a no-obligation air ambulance quote here.