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Air Canada Hospital Transport Program Makes Miracles Happen with Free Flights for Saskatchewan Families with Sick Kids

Seth Rohrke-before & after

In his first year of life, Seth logged many miles to get better. The Saskatoon boy was born with both congenital ptosis, which causes his eyelid to droop in front of his pupil, and laryngomalacia, which sometimes makes it hard for him to breathe.

Because his vision was impeded, little Seth required surgery urgently, but due to the laryngomalacia, surgery was more complicated for him than it would normally be. With multiple out-of-province trips for treatment already under his belt, he and his parents needed the help of surgeons at a children’s hospital and traveled to Toronto for the much-needed surgery.

“It was so comforting to be in a facility dedicated to children, with the equipment meant for children and with specialists who knew all of the intricacies of dealing with children, or in our case, a baby,” explains mom Andrea. “At every stage of the process you could tell they had thought about how to make the children more comfortable and occupied; games in the waiting room, plastic toys in the rooms you wait before the operations, areas for moms to sit with babies while they recovered. I had a rocking chair to hold Seth in after his surgery.”

Seth’s family was able to take some of the stress out of his surgery by taking advantage of the Air Canada Hospital Transport Program, which covered the cost of flights for Seth and his mom.

“Multiple trips to Toronto get expensive, so it was so amazing that we were able to get some assistance from the Air Canada Foundation,” says Andrea. “Often times the flights are the most expensive part of the trip, so I cannot tell you how fantastic it was to have our flight taken care of.”

In 2015, nearly 21,000 km were travelled for surgery by Saskatchewan children through Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital Foundation. The program is designed to allow a child and parent to reach medical care that he or she can’t receive in their community.

From 2012-2015, the Air Canada Foundation has provided approximately 45 million Aeroplan Miles to 15 pediatric hospitals or charities across Canada, including Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital Foundation.

Seth’s parents are hopeful that his surgery days area behind him, though the surgeon has said that he may have to raise Seth’s eyelid again as his face continues to growth. Seth’s ophthamologist in Saskatoon continues to monitor him very closely, but the difference for this young boy is already truly remarkable.

To find out how you can donate miles, simply visit aircanada.com/Foundation and select the top banner button for your donation. To find out how to access the Air Canada Hospital Transport Program through Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital Foundation, please visit https://pattisonchildrens.ca/air-canada-foundation-family-medical-transport-program/.

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