Family flies infant to Mass. for seventh open heart surgery


(CNN) – Seven month old Piper Paddock is a survivor. This daughter of two New York state troopers had a connection to Boston before she was even born.

Her mother, Gia Paddock, said, “She was diagnosed with Ebstein’s anomaly, and where we live in Rochester, New York, they couldn’t handle that diagnosis. We searched and searched found the most amazing doctors at Boston Children’s Hospital.”

Piper is back in Boston for her seventh heart surgery. But before the team at Boston Children’s can work their miracles, it’s up to people like Mark Hanson to get her here. Hanson is a volunteer pilot with patient airlift services, or PALS.

Hanson said, “We donate our plane time and all the costs related to the flight, and on the ground we typically arrange to get them to their final destination.”

For the Paddock family, who are travelling from Rochester, New York, PALS is a godsend.

Piper’s father, Timothy Paddock, noted, “Normally we would be on the road 6-8 hours, depending on how many stops we had to make. It’s close to 400 miles one way from our home to Boston Children’s, so it’s really been a blessing for our family.”

Mark Hanson has piloted over 100 flights. He says each and every mission is personal

The Paddock’s friends and state police family are helping them deal with the cost of Piper’s life-saving care, and those in the Baystate PALS and Children’s Hospital are making sure Piper gets the treatment she needs.

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