DRAPER, Utah (ABC4) – Early Wednesday, Intermountain Life Flight unveiled a new way to transport patients who need specialized care – a long-range medical jet that they say can fly anywhere in the world.

One Draper family shared how it’s already helped them when their 6-year-old son needed to be flown for a life-saving medical procedure last month.

Zane Partridge says that out of nowhere, his son Ezra started acting different – suddenly saying he was uninterested in skiing, his favorite activity, or that he was too tired to eat or climb the stairs.

Ezra’s parents learned that he was experiencing right-sided heart failure. He was taken to Primary Children’s Hospital, where he went into cardiac arrest and was placed on an Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) machine.

“He just suddenly wasn’t there. He stopped breathing. His heart stopped, he went completely white,” Partridge said.

Stents were placed in Ezra’s vessels to help keep them open, but his heart continued to struggle. Ezra needed specialized treatment. He was flown on the jet while connected to the ECMO machine to Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston.


“You know you love your children right, but when they get put in that situation, when they’re dying, you realize how much you love that person,” Partridge said.

After he received the care he needed, he was flown back on the jet to Primary Children’s to recover.

This jet — a Bombardier Challenger 604 — is Intermountain Life Flights newest medical resource. Kent Johnson, the Director of Operations, says they realized they could not keep up with demand with the one and only jet that they had – and began looking for a solution. 

He said they wanted something with more capability, a longer range and a larger cabin. With more space and comfort, this jet was the perfect answer. It has a larger cabin and can fit more personnel, medical equipment and accommodate up to two patients. In fact, this jet can transport patients anywhere in the world.

“One of the great features of the Challenger is the large cabin that allows us to care for complex and very ill patients who require advanced care from specialized team members and necessary medical equipment,” said Johnson.

The jet will also be able to enhance organ transportation by being used to retrieve donor organs throughout the nation.

“That’s what I love about this airplane, not only does it serve our local community but it allows us to go outside and help people on their worst days,” said Jared Thompson, a Chief Pilot with Intermountain Life Flight, who flew Ezra from Texas back to Utah.

Ezra’s parents say that he finally came home last Wednesday and is doing much better today.