They are the unseen heroes behind organ transplants

INDY STAR | Jenna Watson
From right, pilot Todd Ratzlaff pulls the organ procurement cooler as Ginny DeWitt and surgeon I-wen Wang, the medical team from IU Health, board the airplane to procure a heart and lung in Evansville, Ind., Monday, Nov. 20, 2017. The crew departed from Indianapolis International Airport at around 1 a.m. and returned with the procured organs just after 6 a.m. Ratzlaff is a first officer for Indiana Donor Network through its subsidiary aviation group, TxJet. There are pilots on-call 24/7 to transport organs from cities coast to coast for recipients in Indiana. (Photo: Jenna Watson/IndyStar)
Todd Ratzlaff and Roger Law, TxJet pilots for Indiana Donor Network in Indianapolis, transport a heart and lung from Evansville to Indy. The organ procurement organization's jets offer familiarity and speed to IU Health and other medical teams. Jenna Watson/IndyStar

Pilot Todd Ratzlaff is making a difference by transporting life-saving organs for Indiana Donor Network

Todd Ratzlaff’s Sunday evening was winding down.

He had picked up his three children, ages 11, 14 and 15, from swim practice. They’d eaten dinner and were settling in at their Trafalgar home. It was 7 or 8 p.m.

That’s when his iPhone rang.

A few hours later, Ratzlaff was off to help save lives. He is a pilot for TxJet, a subsidiary of the Indiana Donor Network that transports life-saving organs to recipients in Indiana.

That Sunday in November, he and fellow pilot Roger Law needed to depart at 12:30 a.m. to pick up a heart and lung in Evansville. Ratzlaff rested for an hour before heading to the TxJet hangar at the Indianapolis International Airport, a more leisurely time frame 
than usual. Continue reading
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