STORY BY BRAD VENTER
On Friday 15 November, there was quite a long programme planned for the Gorokabased aircraft P2-MAK piloted by Brad Venter. They had fetched a missionary from Owena, with several other flights planned and a few airstrip surveys.
On arrival at the base, they had heard of a woman with a retained placenta in need of urgent care who had to be taken to the hospital. They planned to fetch the woman, drop her off and still conduct surveys among all the busyness.
They dropped off a few patients, conducted two surveys and were on their way. On landing, the people in the village brought the woman to the aircraft on a well-made bamboo stretcher. While Brad loaded her into the aircraft, another airstrip survey was done. Brad then found out that the woman was unable to sit up in her condition, which would have caused massive issues. Fortunately, he had brought the stretcher with him. They transferred her to the stretcher and made her comfortable in the shade under the wing of the aircraft. During all of this, Brad was also able to load up some bags of coffee to help cover the cost of the flight.
Afterward, they loaded the stretcher into the aircraft and were able to use the harness to safely secure the stretcher and the women. Brad states: “The challenge was that the baby was still attached to the mother by the umbilical cord and so it was not possible to move the baby from the position it was in. I was worried that if the stretcher moved on take-off and the baby’s face was covered then it would not be able to breathe. I arranged with the missionary that he would sit in the seat behind the stretcher and monitor the situation with the baby and rectify it if necessary. The woman’s guardian was in the seat next to the patient.”
By God’s grace and with His protection, takeoff went well. The team was able to securely monitor the patient and her child for the full 40 minutes of flight. The situation was under constant observation so that the team could do something in case there was a problem. Luckily, nothing went wrong. Brad navigated his altitudes to ensure the baby had enough oxygen.
On arrival in Goroka, the team was able to give the woman a medevac pack that had been prepared by the MAF ladies. Soon afterward, the base staff drove her to the hospital while the flight team continued with the remaining flight programme for the day. Such a challenging situation resulted in a beautiful ending. Brad continues, “The baby appeared to be healthy and we are trusting that we will soon be able to fly them back to their village.”
All glory and honour to God for giving Brad and the team the strength, wisdom and guidance needed to complete this busy day of flying. We are so grateful to know that, despite all the challenges, everything went better than expected.