Charity Mission To Tomsk
“I only love two things - medicine and flying,'' says Michael Offermann, captain of a Piper PA-46 that have flown a long way from Essen in Germany to siberian Tomsk.
Mr. Offermann is a surgeon, he used to work as an ambulance doctor all over the world. But his is also a pilot with his flying carrier starting back in the eighties. These days Michael has his own practice and flying activity directly related to the medicine. He is a volunteer pilot of the german project Flying Hope. It is a community of pilots who are carrying sick children across Germany. Those little patients who can not be transported by cars or commercial airlines. Such transportation is always free of charge for the parents and fuel costs are covered by fundraising.
In summer 2019 Michael Offermann and his friends fly to Russia to meet a boy from Tomsk city deep in Siberia. Cyrill has cerebral palsy in a very heavy form and for many years he receives medicines from Germany. By a coincidence Michael’s friend Ivan is acquainted with Cyrill’s family - some 30 years ago Ivan was in need of a donor blood and Cyrill’s family offered it to him. Many years later, Ivan lives and Germany but still supports Cyrill’s family from there. German doctors gave hope for rehabilitation to Cyrill, but a lot of work together with russian doctors still lies ahead.
This flight from Essen to Tomsk has been meticulously prepared during several months. We are very proud at the end of the day everything went smooth and as planned, though according to the crew, there were some glitches and unexpected delays - no English-speaking customs officer in the airport of entry, sometimes fuel was delayed. But a lot of positive details were encountered too - two airports extended their operating hours only to accept the flight of a small german airplane. Ivan recalls that hospitality and friendliness of smaller airports was overwhelming.
But the most important - personal meeting of a german surgeon Michael and a russian boy Cyrill.
And we are happy to be part of their once in a lifetime chance to meet.