Angel MedFlight Dispatcher Advocates for Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation

Kayla @ JDRF Walk for a Cure Phoenix 2015

Scottsdale, AZ – April 17, 2015

The most important assets a company possesses are its employees. Angel MedFlight is a special company, comprised of an incredibly diverse, talented and compassionate group of individuals. Billie-Jo, an important member of the AMF Dispatch Team is a very special woman, mother and employee. Billie-Jo is always willing to step in and take on more work to help the team. She has the same attitude when it comes to a cause very close to her heart.  Not only does she come to work every day and make a difference, but she prioritizes time to volunteer for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and to help families with Type 1 Diabetes.

Billie-Jo (Mom) and Kayla @ JDRF Walk for a Cure  Phoenix 2015When Billie-Jo’s 12 year old daughter Kayla was 2, she was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D).  Billie-Jo remembers taking her in and out of the doctor’s office trying to figure out why she was so lethargic and always wanting water. When she noticed Kayla’s urine was crystalized, she immediately took her to the ER. After she was stable, doctors rushed her to Phoenix Children’s Hospital. She spent two weeks there while doctors cared for her. Her organs were already affected, along with her eyes. Fortunately, her organs have recovered and she sees her eye doctor every three months to keep her eyes healthy. In Mom’s eyes, she is a super hero and has become such a beautiful, strong, independent young lady.

The impact was very hard to understand for Billie-Jo and her family. No one in either family has had type 1 Diabetes. Educating themselves and their families about the disease was overwhelming; they all had to adjust to a new way of life. For Kayla, it is just her normal way of life. It’s all she has ever known. For Kayla and her family, it has been a blessing to have the support from other families and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF).

Kayla was just recently diagnosed with Celiac Disease. They have become a Gluten-Free home. Kayla not only manages Celiac and T1D, but is also an honor-roll student who loves her sports and staying active. Her passion is ice hockey and softball. She is a huge Coyotes fan with Martin Hanzal being her number one player. Kayla goes to a camp every summer with kids that have T1D. The camp keeps her involved and educated, reminding her that she is not the only one with the disease.

JDRF 4Billie-Jo is an advocate, actively seeking new knowledge of federal funding and research; discussing T1D with state lawmakers. She also gives time to help other families cope with T1D and is involved with the JDFR Walk for a Cure every year to help raise funds. Advocating for T1D is a passion for Billie-Jo making it easy to find time to stay involved.

Billie-Jo feels blessed to have found AMF. She is thankful to be a part of a team that helps so many people in so many ways. She loves knowing each day that she’s helped families in a significant way and is always excited to get to wake up and do it again the next day. “I feel like I’m part of a family and not just a company. I can honestly say this is a first for me.”

Six Time Olympic Gold Medalist Amy Van Dyken Launches Amy’s Army

Capture_amy-Recovered

Scottsdale, AZ – February 12, 2015

She was UNSTOPPABLE. Not because she did not have failures or doubts. But because she continued on despite them.

~Beau Taplin – UNSTOPPABLE

This is the quote on Amy Van Dyken-Rouen’s Twitter page and a perfect representation of the woman that Amy is. The only thing more powerful than an unstoppable woman, is an entire army of individuals working for a single cause led by an unstoppable woman.

Angel MedFlight met Amy Van Dyken Rouen in June of last year when she was involved in a horrific ATV accident, leaving her a T-12 paraplegic. Amy and her husband Tom immediately decided to go to Craig Hospital in Denver in order to receive the best rehabilitation for her type of injury. The Angel MedFlight Team was honored to safely transport this 6 time Olympic Gold Medalist to Craig Hospital so she could take the next step in her vigorous rehabilitation process.

We’ve all heard the saying that true strength is keeping everything together when everyone expects you to fall apart. Amy’s not only displayed true strength but she’s taken it to a whole new level. When Amy was faced with a life-changing injury, instead of focusing on the things she could no longer do, she looked for the opportunity to do things she’d never done.

Amy learned that paraplegics and quadriplegics can expect to spend $1 million in medical expenses in the first year following their injury.  In additional to the usual medical expenses, there are many additional pieces of equipment necessary for routine living. For example, there are chairs to assist with showering, but they are very expensive and insurance doesn’t cover them. There are chairs to assist with using the restroom but again, they are expensive and insurance doesn’t cover them. Individuals who don’t have the funding for these items are left with undesirable alternatives.  After hearing story after story from individuals, Amy made the decision to start a foundation that provided essential medical equipment for people with spinal cord injuries who could not otherwise afford it.

amy van dyken foundationSix months after Amy’s injury, on December 27th 2014, she launched Amy’s Army and the Amy Van Dyken Foundation. Amy’s Army is a group of individuals including donors, employees and friends of the Amy Van Dyken Foundation who have united to become a powerful ally for those with spinal cord injuries.

We asked Amy for an update on Amy’s Army and where things are headed. “Since that date [of the launch] we have had over 200 people ask for applications for our help. We have raised over $30,000. Of that, 99% goes directly to help people with SCI. We don’t have salaries, so we can help more people with the donations. We are getting ready to have some fun and exciting events!”

amys army imageThose numbers really speak to the need that exists in the SCI community. If you’d like to learn about SCI and what is happening with research to help find a cure, you are newly injured and want to see videos of people with SCI doing amazing things, you’d like information on Amy’s Army and Amy’s Army events, you’d like to donate or purchase a shirt to show your support, please visit www.amyvandyken.org.

To watch Angel MedFlight’s documentary of Amy’s medical flight, please visit My Real Life Moment®: Amy Van Dyken.

A Mother’s Heartfelt Thank You

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Scottsdale, AZ – February 4, 2015

Dear Staff of Angel MedFlight:

My family and I wanted to take a moment and express our gratitude for the help you gave us when there was nowhere else to turn.

Reagan is 16 years old and has suffered severely for 11 years with Chronic Hereditary Pancreatitis. She was in the hospital at Levine’s Children’s Hospital in Charlotte, NC on her 6th hospital stay of the year. She was in horrific pain and nothing the team at Levine did was helping. She would spend hours screaming for help and getting very little pain relief from the large amount of pain medicines she was receiving. She had not eaten in 15 days, and was receiving nutrition through a port in her chest.

On January 7, 2015; Reagan underwent an ERCP to see if her pancreas was draining. It was not, in fact the duct was completely sealed. This left Reagan with no way of getting better while at Levine. There was however, a program in Minneapolis, Minnesota that has had great success with removing the pancreas and transplanting the insulin cells into the liver.

The problem was how to get Reagan to Minnesota. She was too sick to drive the 15 hours necessary to get there and much too sick and in too much pain to fly commercially. Having felt as if there was no hope, I, Reagan’s mother, began researching medical flights. I came across a web site for Angel Med Flight. After reading many wonderful testimonials, I filled out an on line application. Within, the hour I received an email from the company asking me to call. Once I spoke with Wendy at Angel MedFlight and verified the insurance information and doctor contact information, they took it from there.

In less than 48 hours, I was notified that they would indeed take Reagan to Minnesota. A hopeless situation had suddenly become hopeful, many happy tears were spilled.

On the day of the flight, Reagan was in a large amount of pain. The flight nurse and paramedic came into the room with their stretcher and immediately began taking care of Reagan. It has been our experience, and others with this disease that often health care workers fail to comprehend just how excruciatingly painful Chronic Pancreatitis is, especially during an acute flare. The paramedic and nurse, immediately accessed her pain level and took care of her feeding tubes.

Angel Med flight took care of everything. They picked us up at the hospital, right beside Reagan’s bed and using the hospital’s ambulance, took us to the airport. There we boarded a private plane. It was small and incredibly fast. The trip would have taken at least 6 hours by commercial flight, including driving to and from the airport, but we made this trip in under 3 hours. On the flight, Reagan’s pain medicine came due and the nurse was able to administer her pain medicine. Reagan was able to lay down, and even fell asleep.

After arriving in Minnesota, we boarded the Minnesota hospital’s ambulance and the nurse and paramedic came with us. They took care of Reagan in the ambulance, administering more pain medicine as the very rough roads made her pain so much worse. Upon arrival at the Children’s Hospital in Minnesota, the team continued to take care of Reagan right up to taking Reagan to her new room, putting her in her new bed, and then made sure the hospital nurse had all the information before they left. When the website says they offer bedside to beside service, they mean it.

I am in complete awe of this company. Everyone from Wendy, Nicole and Terria who handled the phone calls and insurance, to Carl who made sure I got all the forms completed correctly and turned in on time. Then there were the pilots, Paolo and William, who were very competent, professional and friendly. Finally, there was Chaleece Caldwell (nurse) and Christopher Smith (paramedic) who took such wonderful care of Reagan. Never did they treat her like she wasn’t as sick as someone with an illness that was visible. They recognized this illness as just as horrific and understood this was the only way to humanely transfer this child from one hospital to the next.

Mrs. Caldwell was so friendly. She spoke with me the whole trip and kept a close eye on Reagan. Mr. Smith kept an eye on Reagan’s vital signs and made sure all the paperwork was handled. I just can’t say enough about this service and their staff.

Once we arrived in Minnesota, they discovered the reason for Reagan’s pain being out of control and were able to help her. She also passed the evaluation for this life saving, definitely life-changing operation. She isn’t strong enough for the operation right now, but will come back to Minnesota in 6 weeks to undergo the procedure. We know that without Angel MedFlight we wouldn’t have our little girl able to smile again or have the promise to a better life one day. Thank you from the bottom of hearts. God bless each of you, and please let me know if I can do anything to further your cause.

Sincerely,

Dana

Check out some of our additional patient testimonials by visiting:

http://www.angelmedflight.com/medical-stories.html and our Real Life Moments Series on youtube.com.

Angel MedFlight Welcomes The Super Bowl To Arizona

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Scottsdale, AZ – January 30, 2015

With Super Bowl XLIX taking place in Phoenix, Arizona, across town from Angel MedFlight’s administrative office, there is a lot of buzz around the city! Employees have definitely caught the Super Bowl Spirit and have brought the NFL into the office by sporting their favorite NFL Team Jersey!

Whether you are rooting for Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks or Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, enjoy a Sunday full of football, creative commercials and fun with your family and friends.

Angel MedFlight employees and Phoenicians alike are excited to share the city we love with millions of fans from all over the world!

Go Seahawks!

Go Patriots!

Next year, GO CARDINALS!

January Is National Blood Donor Month

SoojinDonating

Scottsdale, AZ – January 20, 2015

January has been National Blood Donor month since 1970.  Hospitals, clinics and many other types of healthcare facilities are in need of blood to help take care of patients and save lives. The need for donated blood has and will forever be a necessity.  It is such a simple act that makes such a difference. January has been designated as national blood donor month because of the dip in donations during this period.  When the winter season comes around, everyone wants to stay warm and indoors.  Everywhere a person goes, someone has the flu or a cold.  These conditions make it very trying to get up and out to donate blood.  Associations, such as the Red Cross, try to motivate people to go and donate during January.  They often offer raffle prizes, free groceries, and more.  As an air ambulance company, we at Angel MedFlight see firsthand the impact donating blood can have on a person or family.  Many of our patients would not be alive if it were not for donated blood.  Whether you are a regular blood donor or have never been a donor, we encourage you to go out and donate blood, a simple act to make a huge impact in the world.

To find a blood drive near you, check out the following link:

http://www.redcross.org/news/event/January-is-National-Blood-Donor-Month

Angel MedFlight Holiday Giving Project: Backpacks 4 Kids

Group Shot Mrs Butler

Scottsdale, AZ – December 29, 2014

Employees of Angel MedFlight Worldwide Air Ambulance donated backpacks filled with toys, clothing, food and more to Mrs. Butler’s first grade class at Westwood Primary School in Phoenix. The class is comprised of 29 students representing six different countries; all students are in the ESL (English as a second language) program.

magicEach child wrote a letter to Santa with a wish for something they ‘needed’ and something they ‘wanted.’  Many children asked for basic necessities that many of us take for granted such as food, shoes, coats and beds. Angel MedFlight employees came together and fulfilled every need and want for each student. All presents were hand wrapped and personally delivered to the students by Angel MedFlight employees.

“This is my favorite part of the holidays, sharing the true spirit of Christmas, marketing manager Rebekah Kanigan said, “Seeing all my colleagues come together and make a direct impact on these kids is what it’s all about.”

Employees delivered backpacks, hand wrapped gifts, stockings, food items and personal letters from Santa.  The children were in awe when they walked into their classroom filled with gifts; their reactions were priceless. Many of the children were excited to have food to take home to their families.

paul“I didn’t believe Santa was real. Now, I believe!” said one little girl as she opened her gifts.

Angel MedFlight is proud to continue its culture of giving and impacting the community.

 

 

Wintery Thanksgiving Day Travel – Be Safe

Snowy Jet at JFK - Photo Courtesy of DearEdward

Snowy Jet at JFK – Photo Courtesy of DearEdward

Scottsdale, AZ – November 25, 2014

Thanksgiving is about gathering with family and friends and reflecting on what we are thankful for in our lives. When it comes to traveling to reach those families and friends, historically, Thanksgiving is known as one of the busiest times to travel. This year AAA predicts 46.3 Americans will travel for Thanksgiving. Thanks to the lowest Thanksgiving gas prices since 2010, this year a lot more people will not only be traveling by air, but by car too.

According to AAA the Wednesday before Thanksgiving is the busiest travel day of all and most people will travel at least 50 miles or more from their homes to be with friends and family.

Wintery Travel

Those of you traveling on the east coast need to be prepared for winter storms. According to NBC News, snow is in the forecast for Wednesday and Thursday all along the east coast, from Maine to Washington. The forecast also says that the New York area, which was blanketed by snow last week, could see another 6 to 10 inches.

Airport Delays

The Weather Channel is reporting airport delays could take place for flights going from Denver to Boston and the FAA is predicting delays and cancelations at La Guardia in New York and at Reagan National in Washington and in Philadelphia.

A Few Travel Tips

Of course it’s always best to get to the airport early, but you can also take advantage of the many airport and airline apps that are available for your smart phone. You can see maps of the airport parking areas, keep tabs on flight delays and most airlines allow you to check-in using a mobile app. This can save you from standing in long lines. Try to pack light and avoid checking a bag. Checking a bag will cause more delays and if your flight is cancelled or delayed, you may be without your bag for a while.

For those who are braving the roads, plan out a smart route with GPS, that avoids busy routes. The I-95 corridor on the east coast could see delays from the winter storm. Try avoiding driving on the busiest days, like Wednesday and Sunday. Make sure that if you’re driving in snow, you know how to handle snowy and icy conditions.

Some good basic tips from the Travel Channel include:

Drive slowly on ice and snow – particularly on bridges and overpasses, as these tend to freeze first.

Use your low-beam lights in snow.

Take water, snacks and warm clothes with you, in case you get stuck.

If you skid – don’t panic, don’t slam on the brakes, release the gas pedal slowly and steer the car in the direction the rear is sliding (rear sliding left, turn the steering wheel to the left).

To be safe, just take it slow and don’t take risks – if the roads are too unsafe stop, pull over and put your hazard lights on.

Angel MedFlight wants everyone to travel safely and have a wonderful time celebrating Thanksgiving with their loved ones. Happy Thanksgiving from Angel MedFLight.