The purpose of the mission was to collect three orphaned Haitian children and bring them to their new home in Canada with their adoptive families. Fox Flight completed a similar mission in June 2020 when it united three other children with their 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,” said Company 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 ongoing 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 crewmembers donating their time.
Bringing purifying units and PPE to Haiti
“Because we’re an air ambulance provider, we’re exempt from most general travel restrictions,” explained 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.”
Haiti has been devastated in recent months by an earthquake and a hurricane, making the need for relief supplies acute. In his discussions with the orphanage, Fox learned that the building itself had been damaged, forcing many children to sleep outside. In addition, the town of Les Cayes was struggling to provide the 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,” added Fox. “Then we went out and purchased 10 new eight-person tents and took a whole bunch of boxes of PPE—gowns, masks, gloves—and loaded it all into the plane. Some will go to the orphanage and some to the local hospital.”
Fox Flight’s Lear-40XR air ambulance departed in the early morning hours of 25 August for the four-hour flight to Haiti and landed back in Toronto in the late afternoon, where the children were greeted on the tarmac by their adoptive parents.