Volunteer pilot flies Basin Electric employee to surgery

Shawn Hammes and R.D. Reimers

Shawn Hammes and R.D. Reimers, Basin Electric employees.

When Shawn Hammes, Basin Electric administrative assistant/receptionist, learned he’d need a series of surgeries, it wasn’t welcome news.

He knew the work to repair his body would mean he could walk again without pain, but the logistics were tough.

“My family doesn’t live here, and I can’t drive, so getting to Minneapolis for the surgeries was going to be a lot of coordination,” Hammes says.

Hammes has cerebral palsy, and needed surgery to repair two torn tendons in his foot, and work on his hamstrings and Achilles tendon so he could walk better.

He was friends with R. D. Reimers, Basin Electric manager of tax. Reimers mentioned his volunteer work with Angel Flight Central. Read more about that: Be the light: Giving people wings

Hammes applied with the program for assistance, and soon learned Reimers was able to give him rides to Minneapolis for surgery in late summer/early fall 2016.

The flights were only two hours long, compared to the six hours it would’ve taken to drive. Sitting for long periods of time was also painful, so a quicker trip was nice, Hammes says. And because the surgeries were out patient care, Hammes was able to make the visits in one day, cutting down on the expense of a hotel room.

“This guy (Reimers) is just amazing. He went above and beyond the call of friendship,” Hammes says. “He was willing to drop what he was doing to help me out. An incredible person who wants to help people who are sick and in need.”

Interesting note:
The doctor who treated Hammes was Dr. Chris Coetzee, an official orthopedics provider for the Minnesota Vikings football team. Hammes is a big Vikings fan. #SKOL


  1. Great story and Basin is lucky to have you both as employees!

  2. Steve Van Dyke says:

    I just saw Shawn this morning at the front desk. Several years ago I was a member of the Toastmasters Club at Basin Electric and Shawn has called me by my first name ever since. Over the ensuing years, I probably see him once or twice a year, but he’s never forgotten my name….not once. He’s a wonderful guy. I loved this story. It makes my heart warm.

  3. Phil DuBois says:

    Shawn is one of those people you cannot walk by without seeing a wonderful smile that just picks up your day. I am happy to consider him a friend. Shawn just remember GO CATS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Janie Schonauer says:

    What a great heartwarming story! Thank you R.D. for helping Shawn. Good luck with your procedures and recovery Shawn!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: