Fox Flight Air Ambulance has completed a mission of mercy to the Caribbean nation of Haiti. The purpose was to collect three orphaned children and take them to Canada to live with new adoptive families. Fox Flight completed a similar mission in June 2020 when it took three children to new families.
“This was a simple mission for us just down and back on the same day and no medical challenges, which is what we handle normally with patient repatriations,” says Fox Flight president David Fox. “But it's nice to do something like this once in a while because it really is a joyful experience for everybody involved.”
Due to COVID-19 travel restrictions the adoptive Canadian families were unable to fly to Haiti to retrieve the children, one girl aged four and two boys aged five and seven. The orphanage, located in the town of Les Cayes outside Port au Prince, told the families about Fox Flight's successful mission to retrieve children from Haiti last year during the height of the pandemic and they reached out to the Toronto-based company to see if they could do it again. Fox Flight completed both missions to Haiti for just the cost of fuel with flight, medical and logistics crew members donating their time.
“Because we're an air ambulance provider we're exempt from most general travel restrictions,” explains Fox. “So we made all the necessary Customs arrangements and coordinated with the orphanage on getting the children to the airport. The biggest difference this time was we were able to bring a planeload of stuff down with us.”
Fox Flight says in discussions with the orphanage it learned that the orphanage had been damaged by recent earthquakes and hurricanes forcing many children to sleep outside. The town of Les Cayes itself was struggling to provide simple basics of life like clean drinking water.
“We happened to have two extra mobile water purifying units at our hangar, the kind we keep on our planes as safety equipment,” adds Fox. “Then we went out and purchased 10 new eight-person tents and took a whole bunch of boxes of PPE, including gowns, masks and gloves and loaded it all into the plane. Some will go to the orphanage and some to the local hospital.”