"They were called 'frequent flyers,' children flown from their village homes to the hospital in Anchorage for treatment for coughs, wheezes and trouble breathing, then sent back home — only to return again with the same symptoms.
A.J. Salkoski, a senior program manager at the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium in Anchorage, described the phrase and the observations behind it.
But those symptoms were nothing new to Rosalyn Singleton, a pediatrician who, for almost 30 years, has worked on respiratory diseases from her office at the health consortium. For years she studied bronchiectasis in Alaska Native youths, a chronic lung disease so rare in the developed world that it has earned the 'orphan disease' tag. But it is prevalent enough in Alaska that Singleton wanted to find a way to prevent it or cure it."