An Orange County man who apparently tested positive for the novel coronavirus arrived at Los Angeles International Airport in a private air ambulance Thursday.
The man’s wife contacted Jet Rescue, a worldwide air ambulance service, desperate to get her husband home from Aruba after he tested positive for COVID-19.
“I know that both were traveling in Egypt and it’s very likely that they got it there and this gentleman unfortunately had to travel to Aruba for business,” Jet Rescue CEO Carlos Salinas said. “The care in Aruba is nothing compared to the U.S.”
The O.C. man was taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital where his wife says he is getting care.
Jet Rescue is one of only a few companies equipped to transport patients without putting emergency professionals at risk.
“It’s very serious and that’s why the patient is in an isolated chamber,” Salinas said.
Salinas says he bought two such planes about three years ago after the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
“Everybody thought I was crazy, saying, ‘When are you gonna use those? It’s never gonna happen again!’” he said. “And then three years later here we are with this crisis.”
Jet Rescue has received four other calls from patients since Thursday’s transport, according to Salinas.
Salinas says the company will continue to fly as long as there’s a need and enough equipment, although they are running dangerously low. The isolated chambers require HEPA filters and the company cannot find more.