Medical air travel is vital for the lives and health of thousands of people. For example, it allows donated organs to be transported to transplant centers around the country, making them available for those who need them.
Completing these trips successfully requires clockwork-like coordination among firms, hospitals, airports, private aviation companies, OPO’s and other organizations in a very short timeframe. In addition, there are many specific needs for this type of travel, such as transporting pumps and other equipment that is necessary to preserve organs.
The challenges of medical travel don’t stop there. For instance, regarding helping patients in a delicate situation fly to hospitals and health centers, time is of the essence, but also catering to any special needs they might have due to their health conditions, including traveling with nurses or medical equipment.
A nationally certified paramedic, Sim Shain, founded ParaFlight and OrganFlights.com to save lives by coordinating healthcare-related air travel. ParaFlight specializes in organ transportation and helps organize patient trips on charter or commercial flights, especially in emergencies.
Sim became a paramedic inspired by his father, who proudly committed for decades to the mission of helping others: “whatever we were doing at the moment, my dad would leave us to go and assist people every time he was needed.”
Another source of inspiration was his friend Steve Zakheim, a certified paramedic whose life of serving others in dire situations inspired Sim to devote his life to saving people any way he could.
“Steve and I traveled to different parts of the world assisting people as paramedics. Also, we would go on trips using Steve’s airplane to help patients and other people who needed us,” Sim recalls.
Shortly after Steve passed away from cancer developed while rescuing and assisting people at Ground Zero in the aftermath of 9/11, Sim founded ParaFlight to honor the promise he made to Steve of never forgetting the calling they both shared.
Collaboration Without Boundaries or Constraints
According to Sim, the main challenge that his enterprise faces is plane availability. He states: “If we could have unlimited aircraft at our disposal, we would be able to organize trips for every patient in need.”
ParaFlight’s work depends on having an adequate plane available for every trip and, in all honesty, they can always use more planes to keep up with the needs of patients.
Considering this, ParaFlight has developed a network of operators to expand its capacity to get an aircraft whenever a patient requires it.
Their efforts to involve every operator in his mission include developing a free app called OrganFlights.com to allow any Part 135 operator to register and make their aircraft and pilots available when possible.
Sim has made it clear that the mission of saving people’s lives takes absolute priority over money or any other business concerns. For this reason, ParaFlight often collaborates with other companies that carry out medical trips, allowing them to leverage the company’s network of operators.
“We are a mission-driven company where profit or competition takes second place, and we are open to collaborating with anybody, as long as another person can be saved,” Sim assures.
If you wish to contact ParaFlight, we invite you to get in touch with them via their website.