Resident Aids Kids With Miracle Flights
Pictured is attorney Brett Panter beside his twin-turbo Piper Aztec airplane
BY OFRA CHANTI
Pinecrest resident Brett Panter is a certified pilot and often uses his personal aircraft to help bring ailing children to doctors for treatment.
Panter recently flew seven-year-old Gretchen Vega, a Spina Bifida patient, and her mother from Miami’s Opa Locka airport to Orlando, where the girl was transported to the Ronald McDonald House to await treatment by a specialist. Panter says he was happy to help.
“I feel very fortunate to be able to help people and do community service at the same time while participating in one of my lifelong passions, flying airplanes,” said Panter. “It was clear that young Gretchen and her mother really enjoyed the flight and were very appreciative of my participation in the Miracle Flight program.”
Through Miracle Flights for Kids, an organization with the motto of “we’re flying for your life,” Panter helped Vega receive a vital procedure she desperately needed. Panter says he learned about Miracle Flights as a result of his passion for flying airplanes.
“I learned about it from one of my flying friends,” said Panter, a senior partner at Panter, Panter and Sampedro, PA., at 6950 N. Kendall Dr. “Miracle Flights for Kids is pretty well-known among pilots.”
Panter says the volunteer effort includes devoting the time, airplanes and resources. In return, he says, the rewards are immeasurable.
“I take a child with a parent or guardian,” he said. “The family is very appreciative of the experience and the opportunity to get where they need to go.”
Miracle Flights for Kids offers a mission, a problem and a solution for children who need care or treatment at children’s hospitals and specialty medical centers across the country. The premise is that all children have the right to the best medical care, no matter where that treatment is and regardless of the financial situation of their families.
Miracle Flights for Kids offers young patients and accompanying family members no-cost air transportation to any location in the country. The organization also offers a helping hand to more than just the younger members of the community.
“While our primary goal is to help children, we do not restrict our services to those 18 years old or younger,” said Debi Bedell, Miracle Flight for Kids public information officer. “We will transport a patient regardless of age:”
Meanwhile, Panter is also passionate about helping others through the field of law. He says his law firm handles cases in a brad range of areas, from automobile accidents to catastrophic medical malpractice and defective product cases.
During his free time, Panter has managed to accumulate more than 1,000 hours of flying time. He flies for the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary and his twin-turbo Piper Aztec can travel from Miami to North Carolina without a stop.
Panter says he plans to continue to work with Miracle Flights for Kids, which provides much more than a free ride. Along with providing free air transportation to hospitals across America, it promotes awareness of services through targeted outreach programs, enlists the help of community minded people through strategic calls to action and promotes the spirit of volunteerism.
“It’s worth it,” said Panter. “It’s a contribution to the community where I can do something I love and help people at the same time. It’s a great feeling.”
For more information, please call 305-662-6178.