KALININGRAD, December 29. /TASS/. Pilots of Russia’s Baltic Fleet, which is a territorial branch of the Navy, have fulfilled the dream of a sick ten-year-old boy to take a ride on a helicopter, Sofya Lagutinskaya, the chief of a regional charity foundation told TASS.
"Artur, a boy with an inborn genetic illness who had never been on a flight previously made a New Year wish to have a helicopter tour and our foundation re-addressed his request to the staff of the Baltic Fleet and asked them to help fulfill his dream," she said. "The Navy met our request halfway."
The foundation was holding an action titled "A Miracle-Working Fir-Tree" on the eve of the New Year, Lagutinskaya said. Children with rare illnesses, including the incurable ones, were its target audience.
The kids were sending all sorts of wishes to Father Frost, the Russian equivalent of Santa, but Artur was the first one in the Kaliningrad region to ask for a helicopter flight. For the Baltic Fleet, this highly complex request was the first one of a kind, too.
"Preparations for this flight took a rather long time because this was a tremendous responsibility for ourselves, for the physicians, and for the boy, too," Lagutinskaya said.
She indicated the foundation had turned to the Baltic Fleet proceeding from the knowledge that its pilots are professionals of the highest category.
Commanders of the fleet greeted the boy as they would greet a VIP and gave him a multitude of presents, the main of which was the flight, of course.
Artur flew over the Kaliningrad region, which is Russia’s exclave in the southeast Baltic area. The pilots told him about the structure of the helicopter and the equipment installed aboard.
"Artur told us afterwards he had a lot of fun on the day when his dream came true and everything was really very, very interesting," Lagutinskaya said. "The main thing, of course, was that his dream had materialized."
She indicated that the foundation had taken responsibility for the wishes of 494 children this year and had already fulfilled 147 of them.
"Every day the teams of volunteers go to all parts of the region, congratulate the kids and hand out presents to them," Lagutinskaya said. "Today we have eleven teams on duty and their number will increase on the last day of the outgoing year so that we could fulfill all the wishes."