The patient was dying and he needed a special lung and heart procedure called the extracorporeal membrane oxygenation to survive. The equipment needed to perform this operation was not available in the hospital at Bodo where he was admitted. However, a hospital in Trondheim had this equipment available. The problem? It was 450 Km away and it would take a long time to transport that machine by land.
The airforce was contacted to transport this life-saving equipment. Luck favoured the patient as the request came in just as two F-16 fighter jets were getting ready to take off from an airbase nearby.
“They didn’t ask any questions, except for what size the machine was,” said Anders Wetting Carlsen, chief doctor at Trondheim’s Saint Olaf hospital. The machine was loaded onto the aircraft and the pilot flew the airplane at full military afterburner towards Bodo.
“Usually we cover that distance in 35 minutes,” air squadron head Borge Kleppe told Norwegian daily Verdens Gang.”But given the special nature of the cargo, the pilot stepped on it and arrived at the destination less than 25 minutes later.”