Pi­lot on mis­sion for sick

Balonne Beacon - - FRONT PAGE - Ellen Rans­ley Ellen.Rans­ley@ west­ern­

IT WASN’T a bird, and it wasn’t just any plane tak­ing off from Dir­ran­bandi on Mon­day morn­ing, as lo­cal res­i­dent Regi­nald Fa­zldeen took to the skies for his third An­gel Flight.

With the help of Sun­shine-coast based or­tho­don­tist Vas Srinivasan, Mr Fa­zldeen was es­corted to and from Toowoomba hos­pi­tal, where he was due for a scan.

Dif­fer­ent to the Royal Fly­ing Doc­tor Ser­vice, An­gel Flight trans­ports pa­tients by small planes to and from med­i­cal ap­point­ments, usu­ally in the same day, sav­ing those in need of med­i­cal as­sis­tance from driv­ing long, and of­ten in­fea­si­ble, dis­tances.

Mr Fa­zldeen is no stranger to the or­gan­i­sa­tion, and ex­pressed his thanks to the ser­vice.

“This will be my third time with An­gel Flight.

“I’ve been to Bris­bane for heart surgery ... I caught that one from St Ge­orge, that was good, that was on a trans­port plane.

“The other one was from the air­port here in Dir­ran­bandi and that time was also to Bris­bane.”

Due for eye surgery, Mr Fa­zldeen did not want to drive the long dis­tance to hos­pi­tal.

“I didn’t want to drive there (Toowoomba hos­pi­tal) with my eyes, they’re a bit blurry,” Mr Fa­zldeen said.

“My doc­tor said we’ll get you an An­gel Flight up and back home in one day.

“They look af­ter you pretty well, all the way,” he said.

His pi­lot, Dr Srinivasan, joined An­gel Flight ear­lier this year, af­ter de­cid­ing he wanted to do more with his med­i­cal pro­fes­sion.

Hav­ing had a pi­lot’s li­cence for three years, Dr Srinivasan, from the Sun­shine Coast, joined An­gel Flight in Fe­bru­ary and has just flown his ninth flight.

“I got in­volved in An­gel Flight be­cause I wanted to use my pi­lot’s li­cence for a good cause,” he said.

“I wanted to do some­thing worth­while.

“When my grand­mother passed away, she was too far away from a hos­pi­tal when she needed that med­i­cal as­sis­tance, so that was an­other rea­son I started do­ing An­gel Flights,” he said.

The re­turn flight from Dir­ran­bandi to Toowoomba took about four hours, a stark dif­fer­ence to the 10-hour round-trip by road.

“It saves the long and daunt­ing road trip these pa­tients would face oth­er­wise,” Dr Srinivasan said.

❝ I got in­volved in An­gel Flight be­cause I wanted to use my pi­lot’s li­cence for a good cause.

— Vas Srinivasan


SAV­ING TIME: An­gel Flight is a char­ity that co-or­di­nates non-emer­gency flights to help coun­try peo­ple ac­cess med­i­cal help.


LEFT: Pi­lot Dr Vas Srinivasan and Regi­nald Fa­zldeen on board.

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