ST. GEORGE, Utah (ABC4) – Nathan Parnham, a young, light-hearted, yet experienced pilot out of St. George has recently taken steps to create change in the world of medical transportation.
The 26-year-old who has been flying for four years is on a mission to use his Cessna 310 aircraft to provide air transportation for those in critical condition in partnership with Angel Flight West, an organization that flies those with financial, physical, and emotional burdens traveling cross-country as they are fighting disease or sickness.
The organization recognizes that what seems normal to the average person may be unattainable to others, especially air travel for necessary medical appointments.
There is only one thing standing between Parnham and his dream: the financial aspect. Recently, the pilot has set up a GoFundMe with hopes of raising enough money to complete the necessary maintenance work needed to make the aircraft flightworthy. Parnham’s goal is to raise a total of $5,000.
Unfortunately, Parnham is all too familiar with the fight a patient goes through to attain physical health. The pilot stuck by his mother’s side throughout her battle with breast cancer. Parnham recalls driving her to and from the hospital for treatment, explaining the heartbreak he’d feel while watching her struggle on the drive home with a barf-bag in hand, and then again when she’d remain bedridden for the next two days. Today, Parnham’s mother is healthy and has been in remission for the past seven years.
The young man’s experience taking care of his mother is just one factor that motivated him to carry out this project. Parnham says the recent death of his best friend is what truly inspired him to make a change.
Both Parnham and his best friend were diagnosed with coronavirus months ago. His friend experienced symptoms so bad that he had to spend his 32nd birthday in the ICU and ultimately succumbed to his illness three months ago.
Since recovering from the virus, Parnham has missed his best friend dearly while wanting to implement a positive outlet in his life. Angel Flight was his calling.
The pilot remembers his first airplane ride was a Young Eagle flight that was offered by the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA). “Someone else’s generosity has led me to where I am now,” he says. Regarding his partnership with Angel Flight, it’s amazing to see that generosity come full circle.
As Parham sets out to help others, the dedication he has for his project remains steady.
“If we can save even one person’s life, every penny donated to Angel Flight is worth it in my opinion.”