Mackenzie: Going the Distance

Constant Care for a Child

Mackenzie, a child who lives in Hampton Roads, was born with multiple medical conditions. She has to travel to Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters multiple times per week for treatment. However, she also needs more specialized care. The hospital that was best able to help Mackenzie was Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. She has to go there once or twice per year.

Uphill Battle

Mackenzie’s mother, Lori, worked as a nurse. However, she has been out of a job for two years. She had to focus on caring for Mackenzie. Also, Lori’s husband is active-duty military. Frequent moves also make it difficult for Lori to find steady employment. The military provides some financial security – but not much. “We are on a very tight budget and it is a struggle some months,” said Lori.

Long-distance travel was draining the family’s resources. Lori was well aware of it, and often worried about her child. “Many times, we were not sure how we were going to pay for gas, tolls, and hotels for Mackenzie to get the care she needs.”

Despite the financial burden, Lori refused to give up on her child. “Not getting the specialized care for Mackenzie is simply not an option.” But getting to that specialized care was becoming increasingly difficult.

Assistance Overcomes Distance

Mercy Medical Angels’ ground transportation program raced to the rescue. The Hampton Roads Community Foundation donated gas cards to Mercy Medical Angels. In turn, the gas cards went to Mackenzie’s family. These gas cards ensured that Mackenzie could travel to Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters.

But traveling to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia wasn’t as easy. It was too far away for Mackenzie’s family to drive. Again, Mercy Medical Angels was ready to help, this time with volunteer pilots. The volunteer pilots made it possible for Mackenzie to fly to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. When she needed to go to New York one summer, the nonprofit helped yet again.

Never Alone

Lori is extremely grateful for the help Mackenzie is receiving. “You have provided us with very needed assistance for travel,” she said. “We try to stay positive and have faith that things will work out, and you have certainly helped that to be the case.”

Mackenzie has a long road ahead. But she doesn’t have to travel it alone… because Mercy Medical Angels is helping her to go the distance.

child with doctor
Mackenzie is going the distance for treatment!

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