Local EMS crew transports boy with rare birth defect to Pittsburgh



PITTSBURGH - A 5-month-old baby from New York with a rare birth defect arrived at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh on Thursday evening thanks to a local EMS chief.

Jackson Ulicky had been in a New York hospital since his birth. Jackson’s parents said he was born with OEIS complex, a rare defect that affects his spine, bladder and digestive system.

Jackson has already had several surgeries and is expected to undergo many more.

Channel 11’s Jennifer Tomazic spoke to Jackson’s mother, Tierney Butler, who said the best care for him is offered at Children’s Hospital. Tierney said she was unable to get her son to Pittsburgh without medical transport -- something insurance would not cover.

“Jax really struggled in the beginning,” Butler said. “So I did what any mother in my situation would do – I asked for help for my son.”

After asking for volunteer medical transport on Facebook, White Oak EMS Chief Paul Falavolito stepped up and offered his services.

“I saw it and read it, and after I saw this little boy’s face, I knew we had to get involved,” Falavolito said.

Falavolito, along with paramedics Becky Miller and Bill Harper, left for Valhalla, N.Y., on Wednesday night and returned to Pittsburgh with Jax around 5:30 p.m. Thursday 

“This moment will change all of our lives. It absolutely will,” Falavolito said.

The trip isn’t costing taxpayers anything because more than 50 people volunteered time, services and money to make it happen.

“This random act of kindness has completely changed our lives for the better, and I don’t know how I’ll be able to thank them enough,” Butler said.