We were blessed with our 4th child, Milana Ryan Zatolochenko, on Dec 29, 2006. Our joy was unmeasurable. Within 48 hours our joy plummeted to the worse fear any parent could ever imagine. Milana was diagnosed with a severe motility disorder. We spent the next 11 years in and out of Children’s Hospitals, with upwards of 23 surgeries and all the side effects that go with that. We were sent to numerous hospitals and specialists around the Pittsburgh and Ohio area. The bills mounted.
Understandably, I had to quit my job. I was taken away from my other three children, and my husband took on all my responsibilities at home. STRESS manifested itself in all members of our household.
At a cost of nearly $3000 per month, out of pocket, trying to get Milana the care she needs, we expired all of our assets. We began the painstaking, humbling, and very often embarrassing world of fundraising (or as my 16 yr old likes to call it “Begging for money”). With nowhere else to turn, someone introduced us to Angel Flight East.
Let me tell you about Angel Fight East. They truly are angels. From the first phone call with Jess and Dominic I felt as though a 747 had been lifted off my chest and someone breathed air into my lungs. Plans were made to fly Milana and I to Boston for her treatments. The pilots were some of the most genuine, kind, compassionate people I have ever met. Making sure that not only Milana but myself were treated as though they were proud to transport us. As though it was an honor for them to do so. They felt like family from the beginning. I can not and will not ever be able to put into words the gratitude we feel for what this organization has done for us.
We have a 4 year treatment plan in Boston, with no guarantees. One thing I am sure of, with organizations like this, I am guaranteed a fighting chance to save my daughters life.