Patient Airlift Services Changes Lives by Facilitating Access to Medical Care

The financial consequences of serious illness can be devastating for patients and their families. In addition to the costs for health-care appointments, medications, and supplies, patients sometimes require long-distance transportation in order to obtain specialized medical care.

Our community members travel from all parts of the world to access BostonSight® PROSE treatment at Boston Foundation for Sight or at a BostonSight® Network Provider. For some, these travel costs are beyond their reach. In this week’s post, we want to highlight a partner support organization whose mission it is to ensure that financial obstacles related to long-distance travel do not prevent anyone from receiving necessary medical care. Patient AirLift Services (PALS) has helped PROSE patients and countless others access life-changing medical treatment.

Patient AirLift Services is a nonprofit volunteer pilot organization arranging free air transportation for individuals in need of medical diagnosis, treatment, or follow-up care out of the area in which they live. They provide services through a network of volunteer pilots throughout the Northeast who donate their time and talents without compensation. For those living beyond this area, PALS partners with Southwest Airlines to provide travel vouchers for commercial airline travel. There is never a charge for their services or a limit to the number of times they will fly someone for treatment. In compelling circumstances, they also arrange compassion flights for family members. Anyone with a financial and medical need may request assistance from PALS.

Several years ago, Cierra Marrero, a 9-year-old Stevens-Johnson Syndrome survivor from Pennsylvania, required a visit to Boston Foundation for Sight for PROSE treatment in order to restore her vision that was damaged by this devastating disease. PALS volunteer pilot and co-founder Joe Howley flew Cierra and her family to Boston to make it possible for her to access PROSE treatment. Check out her amazing story and hear directly from Joe Howley about PALS’ mission in this Wall Street Journal video. PALS and the tremendous generosity of their volunteer pilots make it possible for patients to travel long distances to receive medical care they would otherwise be unable to access.

Has PALS assisted you or a family member with travel to obtain medical care? Please share your story here with us.