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Non-profit shows off humanitarian plane at EAA

Humanitarian plane at EAA AirVenture
Humanitarian plane at EAA AirVenture(WBAY Staff)
Published: Jul. 28, 2021 at 4:53 PM CDT
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OSHKOSH, Wis. (WBAY) - One of the smallest planes providing medical assistance to those in need around the world.

Among the giant aircraft in Boeing plaza is a small, three-seater float plane, with room for one more passenger - a patient.

The plane is the newest in a fleet of three for Samaritan Aviation.

The Christian non-profit serves a very remote area of Papua New Guinea above the South Pacific.

”There’s a 700 mile river, it’s the size of the Mississippi, and there’s 250,000 people that live along this river and they’re one to three days away from the only hospital in the area,” said Mark Palm of Samaritan Aviation.

Samaritan Aviation is a lifeline for people in that region, who would have to travel by canoe for care during emergencies.

“If you could imagine - if you have a snake bite, poisonous snake bite, the main snake there is a death adder, so you have about eight hours to live. So, we’ll get the anti-venom, a nurse, save their life, bring them back in. Breach birth, 40% of our flights are mothers and babies, and tribal wars, tuberculosis is an issue. Polio even came back to Papua New Guinea two years ago,” said Palm.

Palm is not only the CEO and co-founder of the non-profit, but also is a pilot who has flown missions for more than 10 years.

As a teen, he says he spent time in that region, and realized the need for access to emergency care.

He understands now more than ever the importance of the work his organization does, as he is a recent cancer survivor.

“These planes, really, it’s hope in action. It’s people with a passion, which is our staff, to serve people and save lives, going over there an investing their lives for their neighbor,” said Palm.

Funded by donations, foundations and partially the Papua New Guinea government, Palm says he’s excited to expand the program to other parts of the country seeing the impact of their work.

Anyone wishing to donate to the cause can do so on the Samaritan Aviation website.

Want more EAA coverage? CLICK HERE to see our team coverage of the 2021 event.

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