Elizabeth Rodriguez could not hold back her tears Sunday as she waited for her parents to arrive at Miami International Airport from Puerto Rico.
Her parents, who both depend on ventilators, have been on the Caribbean island since Hurricane Maria.
They were among the 150 sick and elderly Puerto Ricans who evacuated the U.S. territory on a charter flight. Fundacion Stefano, an organization that has been evacuating elderly patients from Puerto Rico, had seven patients on the flight.
Zorimar Betancourt, who works with the organization, said this is a lifesaving mission.
"What would happen to these people if they wouldn't be able to get on this flight? They would probably die," Betancourt said.
The official death count in Puerto Rico is 36, but many people fear that number is likely much higher -- stressing the urgent need for these types of operations to take place.
The charter flight being used in this case was donated.