Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Spring_2018 - 20

m E d i C a l r E C o r d F E at u r E

Angel Flight East

Helping Lift the Financial Burden
of Travel for Medical Care
By: Ellen Williams, Executive Director of Angel Flight East

W

hen an individual needs crucial medical care far from
home, the last thing the family should be concerned
with is whether or not their loved one will be able to
get where they need to go. Expenses associated with travel, however,
on top of considerable medical fees can be a tremendous obstacle.
Getting the proper medical treatment is an urgent matter, but when
a patient or their family can't afford the cost of transportation they're
left with few options. That's when compassion flight organizations
like Angel Flight East (AFE) step in to lift this financial burden and
provide a means of travel for the patient in need.
Based in the greater Philadelphia area, Angel Flight East is a
non-profit organization dedicated to serving the community by
facilitating free air transportation to children and adults in need
of medical treatment far from home. Every year, Angel Flight East
provides hundreds of flights for patients who are ambulatory and
sufficiently stable to fly. It's through this process we are able to
provide "hope in flight" and give families a sense of relief during
an already stressful time.
Brayden and his mother without them having to move or pay any
expenses for travel.
One such instance occurred where a child from South Carolina
had a medical condition that could have resulted in the loss of his
Like most compassion flight organizations, Angel Flight East has
eye. Suffering from retinoblastoma, two-month-old Brayden needed specific territories in which we're able to operate. This includes the
crucial treatment from a facility in Philadelphia that specializes in mid-Atlantic and Northeastern region of the United States, covering
dealing with this condition. His care plan required him to travel 14 states from New Jersey to Ohio and from Virginia to Maine. If
every three weeks to receive this treatment, a process that drove his a situation arises where a patient needs to travel further than these
family to think about Brayden's mother relocating to Philadelphia distances, we work with compassion flight organizations operating
while the father would stay in South Carolina to continue work- in other regions who arrange further travel.
ing. Aside from being separated during this treatment, Brayden's
All of our volunteer pilots are certified general aviation pilots, a
family would have had to pay twice as much money for their living
expenses, on top of the substantial medical costs. We were able to unique aspect of our services which helps ensure patients reach their
intervene, and thanks to one of our many generous pilots, transport destinations. These volunteer pilots use their own planes and cover all

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Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Spring_2018

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