Flying Mission Zambia pilot Bryan Wilson has told us this tale:
Recently I undertook a routine flight to Macha. When I touched down, a family was waiting at the airport with Gertjan and Janneke Van Stam. Would I be able to fulfil the dream of a young man who has been through a hard 6 months? they asked.
‘Sure! we would be happy to help’. I strapped Fred’s 10 year old sister in the back seat of the Flying Mission Zambia aeroplane, with his mum and baby sister in the middle. Fred was lifted into the aircraft and sat next to his mother. The nurse who has been looking after Fred all these months was seated in the front seat. We took off with Fred grinning from ear to ear. The nurse pointed out the hospital and other landmarks that the family would recognize from the air and a few minutes later we landed. Fred was so excited. Many people gathered around the aircraft and there was non-stop excited chatter as people asked Fred about the flight.
Later we dropped Fred off at the hospital. As he entered the ward where he has spent the past 6 months, a cheer went up from all those present. Fred had seen his dream realised.
Fred had his legs amputated after falling into a fire during an epileptic fit. Although hospital staff fought for 2 months to save them, such was Fred’s pain that they eventually had to remove both legs from above the knee in January of this year. He has also lost the fingers of his left hand, although the right is still functional.
Clearly Fred does have issues regarding his future. His family lives far from the hospital, so returning for treatment will be difficult. He really needs prosthetic limbs if he is to manage for himself. His family missed the planting season whilst caring for Fred’s needs in hospital so there is no harvest to be cropped this year. But just as God answered his heart’s cry for this flight, so we are believing that He will respond to the other needs of Fred and his family in the coming months. That will be another story we’ll enjoy telling you!