Your brain has stopped sending signals to your muscles. Your muscles, in turn, have stopped working, and atrophied away. Most importantly, the muscle in your chest that makes you breathe, your diaphram, has likewise stopped working. You're on a breathing machine, but it's a temporary fix. You need to get your diaphram restarted, but your body won't cooperate. You are San Fransisco attorney David Ames, and you have Lou Gehrig's disease.
Then, you discover a new surgery procedure at Case Western Reserve in Cleveland, Ohio, but also two other problems (subscription required). You can't get there and your body will stop breathing shortly.
The airlines won't take you because of the breathing machine, and you wouldn't make it by car.
Nice that there are two clients of Morrison & Forester willing to help you by donating their corporate jets to get you to the surgery. Here's how the Cal Law story put it: "Without much hope, [John Ames', the father of David Ames] had mentioned the dilemma to a friend at Morrison & Foerster, San Francisco partner Stephen Freccero, who in turn sent an e-mail to his fellow partners asking for help on Aug. 24. Within days, two MoFo clients, both represented by Palo Alto partner William Sherman, had stepped up and donated their corporate jets to take Ames to Cleveland for the surgery and return him to the Bay Area." The other client's jet flew David back to San Fransisco. The clients and their attorneys had faced one another in litigation, but put aside their differences to help David.
Thankfully, the surgery ultimately successfully implant a diaphram pacemaker to allow David to breathe easily again.