Airlines Thwart Plans of ‘Too Sick’ Girl, 5, to Travel to China for Stem Cell Treatment

Monday, June 30, 2008

As a parent what would you do?….flagranny

Two airlines this weekend declined to fly Miranda Goranflo and her daughter Hailey to Beijing, where the 5-year-old was to receive stem-cell treatments for a rare fatal disease, the Courier-Journal reported.

The airlines, Air China and Air Canada, decided during a layover in Vancouver, British Columbia, that Hailey was “too sick” to fly this weekend. After being treated at a Vancouver hospital for seizures, the girl and her mother were forced to fly home to Shepherdsville, Ky., the report said.

“I’m completely distraught,” Goranflo, who disagreed that her daughter was unfit to fly, told the Courier-Journal from Vancouver. “I cannot believe we’ve come this far and we have to come home.”

Click here for photos of Hailey.

Hailey and her 3-year-old brother Carter suffer from an incurable disorder called Late Infantile Batten Disease. The disease causes seizures, dementia, and blindness. Most sufferers don’t make it beyond the age of 12. Hailey can no longer walk, talk or eat without a feeding tube, the report said.

Batten disease is relatively rare and occurs in an estimated 2 to 4 of every 100,000 live births in the United States, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

After raising $78,000, Hailey’s parents planned to take her to China for an experimental stem-cell treatment that is not offered in the U.S.

Details of Hailey’s thwarted trip were posted on the family’s blog Saturday.

Click here for more on this story from the Courier-Journal.


4 Responses to “Airlines Thwart Plans of ‘Too Sick’ Girl, 5, to Travel to China for Stem Cell Treatment”

  1. mdob07 Says:

    I live not far from this family and have read about them in the papers and seen them countless times on the news. I feel very sorry for them and wish them luck on their second atempt to make it to China. After all the work and fundraising this family has done they do not deserve to be denied flight. Many generous donations have been made to the family, even some from the local congressman. This time they will try a direct flight from California. I hope they can find a cure for the girl in time.

  2. ijoitem Says:

    bureaucracy, administration and so forth are sometimes incompatible with the demands and need of an individual and families. we don’t know where’s the limit of their responsibility, or whether a child is merely a prospective liability. sometimes it is the bane of community, but when community fights back it could provide the child with more than a confirmed flight, but also life.

  3. coolcrys Says:

    They will have to seek alternate means of travel…private plane…charter airline. As a flight attendant… I understand why they were denied travel. Its a safety issue. FA’s are not trained to deal with severe medical emergencies. And what happens if there IS a medical emergency inflight and the plane is required to make an emergency landing? China is a LONG way from British Columbia. What does that do to the other 200 passengers who have paid to travel?

  4. haileyandcarter Says:

    Thanks so much for sharing our story on your site last year. I was just going through our blog stats and saw it on there. Just wanted to share the update with you and wasn’t sure if you could share it with your readers… but thought I’d ask. Again… thanks so much for your help we are incredibly grateful. Here’s a link to our site if you’d like to check it out.

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