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In a remarkable story of hope and survival, Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) played a crucial role in saving the life of Leonard Bura, a long-serving nurse from Tanzania.

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Leonard Bura has devoted 23 years of his life to serving as a nurse at Haydom Lutheran Hospital in Tanzania. However, one ordinary day turned extraordinary when he suddenly fell ill with a fever that rapidly escalated into a heart attack.

Post heart attack, Leonard was rushed for immediate medical tests. The doctors discovered a blockage in his coronary artery, preventing blood from reaching parts of his heart. Without delay, they referred him to a larger hospital in Dar es Salaam for further treatment.

Thanks to MAF’s availability for an emergency medevac flight, Leonard was quickly transported to the hospital. MAF’s regular flights to Haydom serve a vital purpose – transporting healthcare professionals to remote villages, providing much-needed medical care to isolated populations.

The fast-paced journey from Haydom to Dar es Salaam shaved off precious hours from what would have been a 12-hour car journey. Upon arrival in Dar es Salaam, Leonard underwent immediate surgery.

After the operation that removed the blockage, Leonard described an overwhelming sensation of relief as something opened up in his heart and body. His health notably improved post-surgery as he regained strength and was able to walk again.

Leonardo said “Thanks to MAF, I quickly arrived in Dar es Salaam, where I had surgery immediately. I had lost consciousness and had great difficulty breathing. But when they had removed the blockage, I woke up and experienced it as if something opened in my heart, my brain and my body. They operated on me through the veins, and after the operation I immediately felt that I was okay. I felt relieved. And slowly I got the strength to walk, so my health got better again.”

Tanzania - MAF's air ambulance saved Leonard's life-1

For the last six years, Leonard has been back on full-time duty as a nurse at the hospital, showing no symptoms after his heart attack. He can even run without any difficulties!

Reflecting on his experience, Leonard credits MAF for saving his life. His swift transport by MAF to Dar es Salaam for surgery undoubtedly made all the difference.

Now, years later, Haydom Lutheran Hospital continues to benefit from Leonard’s dedicated service while his family – wife and four children – are grateful to have him back home in good health.

This story is yet another testament to the critical work that MAF does every day – providing swift and safe transport for those in urgent need of medical attention. If you wish to find out more and donate to this fantastic organisation, please visit