Flight Back to Life by Lindsay Morgan


Lindsay with Dr. Gaudiani
Dr. Jennifer Gaudiani, MD, CEDS
Medical Director, ACUTE Center for Eating Disorders
Hospitalist, Denver Heatlh
Associate Professor of Medicine, University of Colorado

Scottsdale, AZ – August, 27 2015

There I was: lying in a hospital bed, barely coherent, trying to maintain consciousness in between seizures long enough to understand what my doctor was saying.

“It’s time for hospice.”

Even in my barely conscious state, I was shocked to my core. I knew things were bad. My weight was down to an unimaginably low number and my blood pressure and heart rate were barely discernible. I had more than thirty seizures over a two-day span, and had surprised even my doctor by staying alive as long as I had. I never truly believed this would be my end, though. I then reached out to my previous doctor in Denver, who told me in no way was I to accept that this was it. She arranged a medical flight by Angel MedFlight, and as soon as I was stable, I was transported to the ACUTE center for eating disorders at Denver Health.

Once there, at a center for the most medically severe anorexia patients in the world (my 6th time there), my doctor and I decided that it was indeed time to say goodbye and go on hospice healthcare. If you had asked me then, I would have told you truthfully that I was ready to accept death. I was thinking about how I would spend the last days of my life: places I wanted to visit and goodbyes I wanted to say. I began setting up end-of-life care plans for when I was too weak to care for myself. I spent days sobbing over my imminent demise and even started writing farewell letters to my loved ones. I thought about people I wanted to include in my will and how to word my final goodbyes.


Lindsay: Prior to treatment at ACUTE Center for Eating Disorders

You see, I have a potentially terminal illness, one that has almost stolen my life several times to date: Anorexia Nervosa. It has left me feeling hopeless and helpless. I waited for the magic treatment to come along that would cure me. I asked “why me?” and lamented over opportunities stolen from me because of this disease: school, relationships, having children, and simply enjoying life. I thought I had exhausted every option for living and death was the only way out.

After several exhausting days, though, I realized something: it didn’t have to be this way. I didn’t have to cause the same pain that I’ve felt to my friends and family. I didn’t have to accept death from my illness. Until I take my last breath there is an opportunity for change. I decided to stop asking “why.” and start asking “how,” instead. How can I live with this disease? How can I do the best I possibly can, knowing every day will be hard while all the while continuing to push forward? How can I sit with my misery until it dissipates instead of starving myself into the grave?

I cried because I have too much to do left in this life to leave it so early. I have a career to be had and school to be finished. I have books to read and worlds to explore. I have great big bear hugs to give to my nephew. I have tears to cry and laughs to bellow, love to give and a niece to see grow up. I have both joy and devastation, solace and companionship, failures and successes to experience.

It still seems overwhelming. I think of being twice the weight I was and I want to give up, accepting my fate of dying from this disease. I have realized, though, that I don’t need to know how I am going to make it through tomorrow; I only need to know how I am going to make it through this day, this hour, this minute. If I can continue to set aside how I feel in the moment in order for my lifelong values to be honored, then maybe one day it won’t matter so much to me. Maybe one day I will live in peace, enjoying the ups and downs that life has to offer. After all, it is the depths of despair that carve out the capacity for joy.


Lindsay with her nephew, one of her biggest inspirations

After I decided to give life another shot, my doctor arranged for me to go to treatment on a full scholarship, and though this was my ninth time attempting such treatment, something was different this time. I still hated it. I still fought it. I screamed and cried and begged to be let go. But my doctor refused to give up on me. And I refused to give up on myself. For six long months, I battled my disease with every bite that I took and pound that I gained.

Today, I am home and weight-restored. My health has bounced back and I am enjoying life in a way that I never knew was possible.  I have beautiful friends, a family that I love, a wonderful church, am going back to school, and am leading an organization that I am passionate about. For so long I believed it was a burden to be alive; now I know the truth: it’s a blessing.

  • For more information about Air Medical Transportation, please visit: Angel MedFlight


The Angel MedFlight Worldwide Air Ambulance Team

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Training Together Proves to be Beneficial for Employees and Patients




Essential to the success of any organization, is the quality of its employees. Angel MedFlight actively seeks talented individuals who share the same work ethic and passion for exceeding standards that the company was founded on. Finding talent, however, is just the first step in building and maintaining an exceptional team. After initial new-hire orientation, individuals need ongoing, specialized training in two very technical fields: aviation and healthcare.

Angel MedFlight has designed and implemented a world-class training program providing instruction in every department including aviation, aviation maintenance, safety, operations, flight coordination, medical, quality management, legal, claims, human resources, IT and business development. Cross training employees allows employees to experience what it’s like to be in another’s role; for better understanding of how departments must work together for improved overall operations.

Matt Greenwell, RN, CFRN, NREMT-P, FP-C, Angel MedFlight’s Director of Clinical Operations teaches one of the training courses; Flight Physiology. He explains how pressure and altitude affect patients, flight crew and medical crew alike. Pressure affects people differently, an important consideration when transporting critical patients. A patient is going to react differently at sea level than at 40,000 feet.

“It’s very important that the patient’s history and condition area taken into consideration when the flight coordinators plan the flight,” says Greenwell, adding, “Altitude and air density, cabin pressure and the condition of the patient all play a role in coordinating a flight and determining the correct altitude and cabin pressure.” Greenwell teaches all the laws concerning pressure including Boyle’s Law, Charles’ Law, Henry’s Law, Graham’s Law and Fick’s Law. These are all complex theories that will need to be understood in depth. Greenwell stresses the importance of the medical crew and flight crew needing to communicate when it comes to adjusting cabin pressure. Because of their cross training, they’ll all have an understanding of the situation and be able to communicate effectively. This is one of many examples why a cross-training approach coupled with an in-depth curriculum are such integral pieces of an effective training and development program.

Greenwell also includes a training segment outlining the 4 types of hypoxia including hypoxic, hypemic, stagnant and histotoxic and the potential effects on patients and crew. He recalls a time when he had the training opportunity to spend time in an altitude pressure chamber; which simulates an aircraft reaching different altitudes and tests the effects it has on people. He explains that in his experience, it only took about 90 seconds to begin to feel the effects of hypoxia. He said he felt confused and experienced pain in his neck. Hypoxia can affect everyone differently. Personally experiencing a pressure chamber is an excellent way to understand first-hand what the effects can be. Greenwell hopes to incorporate altitude pressure chamber training to the curriculum in the near future.

Chief Pilot Kindle Tannery joins Greenwell to teach a segment that explains all of the 9 stressors that can affect not only the patient during the flight but the crew as well. The stressors are:

  • Hypoxia
  • Barometric Pressure
  • Thermal
  • G-Forces
  • Noise
  • Vibration
  • Third-Spacing
  • Decreased Humidity
  • Fatigue


Together, they explained the importance of the flight crew and medical crew to remain hydrated, eat healthy and the proper amount of rest in between flights so that they are able to perform their job functions to the absolute best of their ability.

It’s necessary for pilots and flight coordinators to learn and understand flight physiology; not just the medical crew. Although flight coordinators remain on the ground, they must be able to effectively communicate this information to patients, families and case managers that they work with to coordinate medical flights.

Angel MedFlight’s training and development is continually evolving in order to remain on the cutting edge of technology. Because air medical transport encompasses both the aviation and healthcare fields, ongoing training and continuing education requirements are important to remaining leaders in the industry.  The flight physiology course is just one part of the extensive training curriculum.

Angel MedFlight’s commitment to hiring, training and developing talent is essential to delivering operational excellence on every level.


Memorial Day Weekend Starts Summer Travel Season

The long Memorial Day weekend marks the start of family summer fun with outings and vacations. According to a recent Airlines for America (A4A) report, a predicted 1.5 percent increase in air travel means there will be more people traveling by plane this summer than in the highest recorded years of 2007-2008.  A4A predicts that airlines will transport 210 million people this summer. Not only will the roads be busy, but so will the airports. They also report that the top destinations this summer are Mexico, Canada and the U.K.


More travelers mean more people may be visiting your favorite summer destination. With more people, comes the possibility of more accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) the holiday weekend is one of the six deadliest holidays involving automobile fatalities. Staying alert and aware of other drivers on the road, refraining from drinking and driving, only using mobile devices when vehicle is pulled over or stopped and wearing a seat-belt  are all simple but potentially life-saving tips.


If you’re traveling, have fun, but remember to be safe around the water at the beach, pools and water parks. Make sure children are always under a watchful eye, it only takes seconds for a drowning to happen. If you are celebrating at the beach, park or other places with large crowds, be sure to have a plan in case you and your children get separated. Deciding on a predetermined place or landmark to meet should you become separated is always a good idea. Remember to drink plenty of water so that you stay hydrated and make sure to pack sunscreen and perhaps a small first aid kit for emergencies.


Something else to consider during your holiday weekend: when participating in risky activities that could potentially cause a serious injury, like a traumatic brain injury (TBI), it’s important to wear protective gear including a helmet. Every year, in the United States alone, 2.4 million people, including 475,000 children, sustain a TBI.  Experiencing new adventures is an important part of living a full,healthy life; especially when enjoyed safely.


As we finish Memorial Day Weekend and head into the summer travel months, keeping safety in mind will ensure you will have a fun and safe summer.


Angel MedFlight Provides International Air Medical Transport*

Angel MedFlight transports patients worldwide.

Angel MedFlight transports patients worldwide.


May 21, 2014 (Scottsdale, AZ)

Angel MedFlight is the world’s leader in air medical transport. We not only fly to all 50 U.S. states, but we fly internationally, to the farthest reaches of the globe. Angel MedFlight offers this global reach by maintaining a mobile base of operations and by using fast, long-range, modern business jets. Our fleet of Learjet 60s and Learjet 35s allow us to fly to most locations across the world. In its seven years Angel MedFlight has made patient transports in 33 countries worldwide.


What is International Air Medical Transport?

What this international service means is peace of mind for our patients and patients’ families. What if you’re a U.S. citizen traveling abroad and you are injured or ill and need to be repatriated to the United States, where you can receive the quality healthcare that you require? This happened to a patient of ours that was volunteering abroad in Nigeria. She became critically ill due to contracting the deadly Malaria virus. She needed immediate evacuation to the U.S. We were able to transport her back to the U.S. where she was admitted to a hospital with the level of care required and where she was able to make a full recovery. She had been far too ill to fly commercially and she required constant medical monitoring by a flight nurse and paramedic throughout the transport.


Today a lot more people are traveling to more exotic destinations and may be trying activities that they don’t usually try that could result in injuries. More than 13.5 million travelers are hospitalized each year while traveling. If you’re ill or injured while in a foreign country and are hospitalized, you may not receive the same kind of high-level healthcare that you’re used to in the U.S. If you need to be repatriated, you may be too ill to fly on a commercial flight. This is when you need an air ambulance. An Air ambulance is capable of flying people from foreign countries that have fallen ill or have been injured while traveling and need acute-care or long-term care.


Types of Air Ambulance’s Needed For International Flight.

Not all air ambulance’s can provide international medical flights. The aircraft needed must be able to fly long distances without needing to stop frequently to refuel. Because of this, typically the types of aircraft used are medically configured business jets. Angel MedFlight uses the Learjet 35 and Learjet 60. The Learjet 60 is a mid-sized business jet with a range of 2,773 miles and a maximum speed of 522 miles per hour. The range is nearly double that of most piston engine aircraft. Business jets are pressurized and able to climb to altitudes that allow smoother flights for ill patients. Angel MedFlight’s pilots are highly skilled and experience in international aviation. These models of Learjets are trusted, safe and reliable for both domestic transports and international transports.


Plan Ahead!

We urge international travelers to plan ahead before you or your loved one travels abroad. Check with your health insurance carrier to make sure that you’re covered for air medical flights. Some insurance won’t cover you or may only offer very limited coverage. Also, if you’re planning on buying “travel insurance,” keep in mind that this type of insurance covers things like lost baggage and canceled hotel and air reservation. It may not cover the cost of an air medical transport.

Angel MedFlight is proud to be able to offer international service. With our advanced jets, expert pilots and highly skilled medical crew, we are capable of helping those in need, in many locations across the world.

*Angel MedFlight currently utilizes the services of sole and exclusive FAA F.A.R. Part 135 vendors, such as AeroJet Services, LLC (License Number: J7EA116I).

Early Air Ambulances

Airco DH 9A

Airco DH 9A

April 30, 2014 (Scottsdale, AZ)

Organized air medical flights were said to have taken place as early as 1917 in Turkey, when an injured soldier was flown to a hospital in an Airco DH. 9.


The Airco DH 9A was used in Somalia in the 1920s for medevac purposes during the African and Middle Eastern Colonial Wars. They were slow in comparison to today’s air ambulance jets, but still considered a vast improvement over transporting a wounded soldier by ground transportation.


The British made Airco DH 9A was designed as a light bomber and made its first flight in March 1918. It entered into service in July 1918, with the RAF 110 Squadron. The air ambulance version of the DH 9A was outfitted with an enclosed medical stretcher situated behind the pilot. The plane could only carry one patient at a time. During the Wars, the French were said to have transported more than 7,000 wounded soldiers using the DH 9A.


The first civilian air ambulances were often flown by bush pilots in remote areas like northern Canada, the outback of Australia, and sparsely populated areas of Scandinavia. In the late 1920s, the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia was established. The first year the organization was said to have flown 50 air medical flights and over 20,000 miles. They are known as the first operating civilian air ambulance company and are still in existence today. Today there are a number of air ambulance companies.  According to the Association of Air Medical Services, air ambulance companies transport approximately 500,000 patients per year in the U.S. In comparison, Angel MedFlight has flown patients all across the globe, totaling more than 3.1 million statute miles since its inception in 2007. From Saudi Arabia to Kenya, or the United States to Egypt, Angel MedFlight’s fleet of Learjets are flying intensive care units capable of transporting patients from across the country and around the world.

Angel MedFlight Gives Back to Community During National Autism Month

Learjet 60

Learjet 60

April 16, 2014 (Scottsdale, AZ)


April is National Autism Awareness Month. Angel MedFlight is honoring students at Gateway Academy by providing them with a special donation and an educational event.



The characteristic behaviors of autism spectrum disorder may or may not be apparent in infancy (18 to 24 months), but usually become obvious during early childhood (24 months to 6 years). As part of a well-baby/well-child visit, your child’s doctor should perform a “developmental screening,” asking specific questions about your baby’s progress. The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) lists five behaviors that warrant further evaluation:

  • Does not babble or coo by 12 months
  • Does not gesture (point, wave, grasp) by 12 months
  • Does not say single words by 16 months
  • Does not say two-word phrases on his or her own by 24 months
  • Has any loss of any language or social skill at any age


Any of these five “red flags” does not mean your child has autism. But because the symptoms of the disorder vary so much, a child showing these behaviors should have further evaluations by a multidisciplinary team. This team may include a neurologist, psychologist, and developmental pediatrician, speech/language therapist, learning consultant or other professionals knowledgeable about autism.


The Autism Society

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the prevalence rate for autism is now 1 in 68, which is an increase of over 30% from the 2008 CDC report. “The Autism Society continues to be concerned with the increasing prevalence of autism. In the next few days, many will discuss the reasons behind the new prevalence rates. The Autism Society and our 110 local and state affiliates are ready and willing to assist the growing population, now in the millions, of individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). “We know that a diagnosis doesn’t always mean services will start right away; whether it’s screening, diagnosis, interventions, or services, the earlier we take action, the better,” said Scott Badesch, President and CEO of the Autism Society of America.  For more information, go to: The Autism Society press release.


Gateway Academy

Gateway offers a different approach to learning for students that have had frustrating experiences at other schools Their program help build self-esteem and encourage learning. They customize the learning for their students.

Gateway Academy provides a unique educational environment for students from age five to nineteen years of age with Asperger’s syndrome, High Functioning Autism, PDD-nos, social/behavioral issues, emotional and social difficulties and specific learning difficulties associated with spectrum disorders.


Angel MedFlight Gives Back

We’re excited to have the students from Gateway Academy visit us and give them the opportunity to tour the hanger and see our aircraft up close. During the visit the students will get to visit several information stations in the hanger to ask questions and learn about the aircraft, flight medicine, aircraft maintenance and more. There will also be games, prizes and photo opportunities. We’re also pleased to announce that we will be donating 15 iMac computers to Gateway Academy for the students. We hope that these computers will help benefit the schools already terrific academics program at Gateway and we feel privileged to be able to help in honor of National Autism Awareness Month


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one out of every 68 children in the U.S. currently has autism, and reports show that number could be even higher. The number represents a nearly 30 percent spike from estimates just years ago calculating one in every 88 children had the disorder.



The Top 5 Reasons To Choose Angel MedFlight*

Angel MedFlight Crew

Angel MedFlight Crew

April 10, 2014 (Scottsdale, AZ)


Angel MedFlight is the world’s leading air ambulance service provider. The way Angel MedFlight operates is unique and sets a new standard for the air medical transport industry. Below are the Top-Five reasons you should choose Angel MedFlight for your patient’s air medical transport.


 5. The Best, Highly Trained Medical Crews – Angel MedFlight Flight Nurses and Flight Paramedics undergo extensive training, hold additional certifications and attend continuing education training. They train on a high tech patient simulator called SimMan®3G.


4. Jets!! – Angel MedFlight transports patients on jet aircraft.  Unlike brokers, Angel MedFlight owns, operates and maintains a fleet of medically configured Learjet 35s and 60s. Jets fly higher, above the weather, have longer ranges, are faster and safe. With jets, Angel MedFlight has a Global Reach, transporting patient across the country or around the world.


3. Bedside-to-Bedside® – Angel MedFlight’s medical crew is with your patient for every segment of the entire medical transport, including on the ground and in the air.  Bedside-to-Bedside®ensures continuity of care.


2. Safety – ARG/US International awarded Angel MedFlight Worldwide Air Ambulance with its highest honor, the prestigious Platinum Rating. Only the safest, most trustworthy charter operators and aviation companies receive this elite award.  Angel MedFlight is committed to safety and is proud to have a perfect safety record.


1. One Touch Promise® – Angel MedFlight employs a team of experts in medicine, aviation, case management and insurance law. One Touch Promise® means that when you pick up the phone and call Angel MedFlight, their highly skilled team goes to work for you. They do all the legwork, coordinate every aspect and handle every detail of the medical flight, including contacting the insurance company, ground ambulance transfer, coordinating schedules with medical facilities and more. Angel MedFlight is an advocate for their patients.

*Angel MedFlight currently utilizes the services of sole and exclusive FAA F.A.R. Part 135 vendors, such as AeroJet Services, LLC (License Number: J7EA116I).