The thought of having a child in your family who needs medical treatment but can’t afford the flight to receive it is truly terrible. Thankfully, there is an organization that helps families in those tragic circumstances. Miracle Flights was founded in Las Vegas 33 years ago by Ann McGee, whose dedication to the cause continues to save the lives of young people.
The organization, which first sought out private flights to fly youngsters in need to hospitals and doctors throughout the country, now utilizes commercial flights. Miracle Flights plays a central role in transporting patients on approximately 700 flights each month.
The nonprofit program has become nationally respected, and its goal is to secure 100,000 flights in the next 10 years.
Miracle Flights was among the charities the responded to the Oct. 1 mass shooting by offering to fly families of victims into Las Vegas. Miracle Flights also offered to fly survivors to other locations where specialized care was provided.
“We provide the cure for distance. There’s nothing worse for a parent than hearing that there is a hope for their child, but the travel can prevent them from getting specialized medical care,” Mark E. Brown, CEO of Miracle Flights, said. “This is the only organization that fills the need.”
Brown said the work provided by Miracle Flights is very rewarding for all involved.
“Whether your child is in need of medical help or you know of someone who needs our assistance, please contact us. We are here to help,” said Brown, who has been with Miracle Flights for about three years.
“We can fly a child — and their parents — one time or 50 times, whatever it requires to get the child well.”
Jessica Lindley, a native of Las Vegas, is among the success stories of Miracle Flights. Lindley suffers from arthrogryposis, a rare joint condition. Miracle Flights flew Lindley and her family to doctor visits throughout the country from the time she was a baby — a total of 32 times over 16 years.
She is an honors graduate of Veterans Tribute Career and Technical Academy in Las Vegas and will attend Oregon State University in Corvallis. Lindley will major in chemistry and minor in public relations at Oregon State. She wants to be a 9-1-1 dispatcher.
“I would not be able to walk today if it wasn’t for Miracle Flights,” Lindley said. “I still have a hard time walking and can’t bend my arms, but the surgeries made my life easier. You can never cure my physical disability.”
“The surgeries (17) made a difference in my life by allowing me to do more physical things like taking care of my everyday needs,” she said. “We contacted Miracle Flights when we had no doctors to treat me locally.
Findlay Automotive Group CFO Tyler Corder is amazed at the job done by Miracle Flights and presented a check to Miracle Flights for $7,250 earlier this month.
“We have become quite involved with Miracle Flights over the years,” he said. “We love their mission and the service they provide to get sick children where they need to be for medical care. We are especially pleased to support a national charity that is based right here in Las Vegas.
“I have been touched by the stories from the children who have been helped by Miracle Flights. We produced a video for them a few months ago and it’s quite emotional to watch. It’s just a great charity that is helping real people solve a real problem. Miracle Flights truly is the cure for distance.”
Brown expressed his appreciation for the donation.
“Findlay Automotive is one of the most generous companies in Southern Nevada,” he said. “We’re thrilled to be a partner with them.”
The Miracle Flights’ annual charity golf social is scheduled from 6-9 p.m. Sept. 27 at TopGolf Las Vegas. For further information, call Miracle Flights at 800-359-1711 or visit www.miracleflights.org.
About the dealer
Findlay Automotive Group founded in 1961 by the late Pete Findlay. The umbrella of dealerships includes 32 automobile dealerships in Nevada, Utah, Oregon, Utah and Idaho. A 33rd dealership, Findlay Mazda, is now under construction in the Valley Automall.