Lifesaving airlift to Ireland

“I was young, only six or seven, I was seriously ill…I remember being in the hospital with my friend Vitaly and we ran after Adi and asked her to take us to Ireland that if she didn’t we would die. We watched her leave, we didn’t know she would come back for us, we didn’t know she was the woman who would save our lives”, Sasha said.

Upon leaving the hospital Adi Roche of the Chernobyl Children's Project called Thor Magnusson at the Peace2000 Institute in Iceland who organized a PEACE2000 aircraft to airlift four critical ill children from Belarus to Ireland for life saving cardiac surgery.

Aircraft filled with Christmas Gifts

Prior to taking off from Reykjavik, PEACE2000 launched a television appeal asking Icelandic children to donate their last year presents to help Santa use the empty space flying out and fill the aircraft with Christmas gifts. Completely stuffed with Christmas gifts the PEACE2000 aircraft took off from Reykjavik flying directly to Belarus to urgently evacuate the dying children to hospital in Ireland.

Successful life-saving heart surgery in Ireland

Sasha Charnanoh was one of the children airlifted on PEACE2000 flight in 1995 to receive life-saving heart surgery in the Mercy Hospital in Cork and Crumlin Hospital in Dublin.

Twenty years later, in November 2015, Sasha attended an event in New York to present to Adi Roche, the Chernobyl Children Project´s founder, the Alumni Award from World of Children Awards.

Sasha told the story of how Adi and CCI saved his life and the lives of three other children who were evacuated with him in 1995:

“I remember wearing an oxygen mask on the plane for the entire flight because I was so weak. I had no mamma and papa with me, I was terrified and alone but I eventually took refuge in the arms of Adi and slept on her lap for the rest of the journey taking comfort in the fact I was no longer alone, she has saved so many of us”, he added. “Even though I was a child, I knew it was a desperate effort to save my life and the lives of the other three children”.

Sasha´s friend Vitaly, whose life was also saved by the PEACE2000 flight, later visited Iceland meeting with the Peace 2000 Institute and the President of Iceland to express his gratitude on behalf of the Chernobyl children to the thousands of Icelandic children that donated their Christmas gifts for Santa´s flight to Belarus.

https://www.facebook.com/ChernobylChildrenInternational/posts/sasha-charnanoh-was-airlifted-from-belarus-to-ireland-in-1995-to-receive-life-sa/10153571036503295/

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