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Twin infants evacuated amidst COVID-19 crisis

  • Published
  • By 1st Lt. Daniel de La Fé
  • 51st Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Parker and Laine McFall were born February 17 at 30 weeks in Daegu’s Yeungnam Medical University Medical Center during the COVID-19 outbreak. They were medically cleared and protected from COVID-19, then transported to Osan AB for a follow-on flight to Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, culminating in care at Maryland’s Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for advanced neonatal patients.

The 18th AES from Japan’s Kadena Air Base is one of the few Neonatal Critical Care Air Transport Teams in the world. The squadron’s ability to mobilize quickly with the most advanced equipment available gives patients the critical care they need during flight.

Advanced precautions were made to protect the infants, parents, medical providers and aircrew coming from across the region to support the critical care transport.

The parents, U.S. Army’s Spc. Cody McFall and Pfc. Cheyenne Evans with the 188th Military Police Company at Camp Walker, were preemptively tested for COVID-19 and placed in quarantine on March 10. They tested negative and are currently showing no symptoms.

U.S. Army Col. Joseph Hudak, a neonatologist from Brian D. Allgood Army Community Hospital at Camp Humphreys, transported the infants via ambulance from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in Daegu to Osan AB. From there, the infants were placed aboard the aircraft and flown to JB Andrews.

Neonatal Critical Care Air Transport Teams give children access to the higher echelon of care they need, and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center is the only facility currently able to accommodate the infants’ specific needs.