ShareThis Page

White Oak EMS gives ailing New York baby door-to-cure transport

| Thursday, July 25, 2013, 10:27 a.m.
Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News
White Oak EMS Capt. Becky Miller, Chief Paul Falavolito and Lt. Bill Harper will travel to the Maria Fareri Children's Hospital at West Chester Medical Center in New York and transport Jackson Ulicky to Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh.
Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News
A Facebook collage of Jackson Ulicky, who will be 6 months old on Sunday, motivated White Oak EMS Chief Paul Falavolito to volunteer to transport the boy from New York to Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh at no cost to the family.

White Oak EMS is answering a New York mother's plea to transport her baby to Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh.

Jackson “Jax” Ulicky, born on Jan. 28, suffers from OEIS complex, a rare birth defect that manifests in complications surrounding the spine, bladder and digestive system. Those defects — exposure of the intestines, liver and other organs that remain outside the body during development — affect 1 in 200,000 to 400,000 pregnancies. The cause is unknown.

Jax has undergone two major surgeries in his first six months of life.

Through the “Adventures of Super Jax” Facebook fan page, more than 1,000 followers have witnessed the boy's ups and downs in his care at the Maria Fareri Children's Hospital at West Chester Medical Center in Valhalla, N.Y.

Facebook users read a Monday post by Jax's mother Tierney Butler, who was searching for an ambulance company to transport her and her son from New York to Pittsburgh, where doctors advised her Jax would have the best possible care at the UPMC children's facility.

Jax's father already began moving the family's belongings to his hometown of Phillipsburg. But West Chester Medical Center would not discharge Jax to a Pennsylvania residence, and a hospital transport would be required.

Butler shared her fears about staying in New York without health coverage since the family's official residency has been changed to Pennsylvania, and she asked for a fast transport with consideration of their desperate financial situation.

White Oak EMS Chief Paul Falavolito was browsing Facebook pages late Monday night when he happened upon the page. He contacted the site's administrator immediately and began coordinating his efforts with West Chester and UPMC.

“As soon as I saw the baby's face and the mother's plea to have an ambulance transport them for free, it was a no-brainer for us,” Falavolito said. “We don't use all three of our ambulances throughout the day. If we have one sitting here, we should use it to help this family.”

Falavolito left Wednesday night with White Oak EMS Capt. Becky Miller and Lt. Bill Harper for the approximately 400-mile trek to Valhalla. They are expected to arrive at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh between 4 and 5 p.m. on Thursday.

White Oak EMS is receiving financial support from its Mechanicsburg-based billing company Cornerstone Admini Systems and medical support from UPMC.

“We are a business partner with White Oak EMS, and we are proud of them as an organization and a company,” Cornerstone Admini Systems vice president Ranee Morrison said. “It's a great thing that they're offering to do, and we are happy to play a very small part in it.”

Scott Dolan, an EMS specialist with UPMC, said the health system's role has been coordinating care and the transport.

“Our primary focus right now is making sure everything is in line for the child's transportation and his arrival at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC.”

As the crew prepared to head out on the highway, Butler thanked them via Facebook.

“Thank you again to Paul and his (crew) for helping our family get to where we need to be,” she posted on Wednesday afternoon. “We will forever be in your debt for this.”

Jennifer R. Vertullo is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1956, or

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.