Hope Air Patient Stories
Sportsplex Logo oval

JacobJacob: Anglemont, BC

It’s not every day you hear about a successful medical diagnosis made from the internet. But in Jacob’s case, that’s exactly how he discovered his condition.

Two years ago, Jacob’s mother Patti was reading an article online when she noted that her teenage son displayed some of the physical attributes of Marfan syndrome: long limbs, tall body type, unusually flexible joints. Doctors said they were nothing to worry about—but when Jacob was tested by echocardiogram, the results came back positive.

Marfan syndrome is a genetic disorder that affects the body’s connective tissue, sometimes with life-threatening complications. In Jacob’s case, his main problem is his dilated aorta. He’s at risk of heart issues if his blood pressure doesn’t stay stable, and takes medication to regulate it. One day surgery may even be necessary. In the meantime, he’s checked annually by a specialist in Vancouver to ensure his heart isn’t getting worse.

The trip to these appointments from Jacob’s family home in Anglemont, BC would take about six hours by car, making for a long and potentially dangerous journey. “I’ve heard stories of people driving down to Vancouver from here. It’s not good,” Jacob says. “Especially at this [wintery] time of year.”

Jacob’s family paid for flights to and from the Vancouver hospital for his first appointment, but due to financial difficulty, paying airfare for the next was not possible. Then—through another successful web search by Patti—the family found out about Hope Air. We flew Jacob to his next appointment, and he’s been flying with us ever since.

On his most recent Hope Air trip, Jacob even travelled in one of our volunteer pilots’ small planes.

“My pilots were fantastic,” Jacob says. “On the flight I got to wear the big headphones with the mike, and I could hear traffic control and everything. I enjoyed it. It was really unique and cool experience.”

Now Jacob and his parents know that no matter the distance or the cost, he won’t have to miss an appointment.

“[My parents] worried about my well-being before [the diagnosis], ’cause that’s what parents do,” Jacob jokes. “But they worry even more now. So they’re very thankful to Hope Air for arranging my flights.”