Phoebe Root

Phoebe Root is a junior at the University of Mary Washington in Virginia where she is majoring in business administration with a minor in social justice. She is an NCAA athlete, who swims backstroke and sprint freestyle. When she graduates in 2025, she wants to pursue an MBA. While she admits her plans could change, she said, “If I had to choose tomorrow, I would work for a company that’s doing something good for the world.” She is an intelligent, ambitious, and compassionate young woman, who undoubtedly will make a difference in whichever path she chooses to pursue.

The People & Places Behind Phoebe’s Story

Scene Call (Union Fairgrounds) to Boston Children’s Hospital

John Scanlon

Doris Laslie

Kim McGraw

Kim Bishop

Rotor Wing

Phoebe grew up in Hope, which is near Camden. When she was eight weeks old, her parents learned there was something wrong with her liver. “I consider myself lucky,” she says, “because I remember literally none of it.” According to what her parents have relayed to her, she spent about six months at Boston Children’s Hospital, where she was eventually diagnosed with biliary atresia. She needed a full liver transplant. “I know it’s a liver disease,” Phoebe said in a recent conversation, “and I know it’s not great. But I have not looked into it, because I think it would scare me the more I found out about what was happening to my body, and I’m in a very good place right now.”

Phoebe Root
Photo courtesy of Phoebe Root, 2023.

“My family and I went back home to Maine and waited,” said Phoebe. “I believe it was seven months. We got a call from Boston Children’s that they had a liver for me, and I needed to go immediately. That’s where LifeFlight stepped in.”

The helicopter picked her up at the Union fairgrounds, which she remembers only as the place she would ride the Ferris wheel. Because of Phoebe, the fairground has become one of thousands of temporary landing zones that are recorded in LifeFlight’s database. “That’s where I was picked up, and we went to Children’s and got the transplant,” Phoebe said. “I’m so unbelievably thankful for it, because that’s how my [medical] story ended, and it’s been great from there.”

First published as the February feature story in the LifeFlight of Maine 2024 Calendar.