Thursday, October 29, 2015

Med Evac Flights

Kevin talking to Rita Chapman about the situation
(Photo courtesy of Mark & Kelly Hewes, used with permission)
Last week, Kevin was able to do a Med Evac flight. It was for a 12-year-old girl (Masha) who had developed an infection on her left shin (tibia). Back in February, she noticed her leg had started to swell. Her family did what they could by treating her with indigenous medicine. Unfortunately, the medicines could not help the infection, which made it appear worse than before.  So her family took her to the local hospital in Kikongo. The hospital was now afraid to do anything because they feared the infection had spread into the bone. She was in a lot of pain and was no longer able to walk. The hospital in Kikongo was not able to do much for the young girl, so a local missionary family (the Chapmans) arranged for MAF to do a flight to bring the girl out.

Masha (in red) waiting to board the airplane
(Photo courtesy of Mark & Kelly Hewes, used with permission)
Kevin flew the young girl and her mother out to the missionary hospital in Vanga where they were able to take X-rays of her leg (x-rays in the bush of Africa, how cool is that!). The x-rays confirmed that the infection had indeed spread throughout the entire bone, which was now also broken in multiple places as a result of the weakness from the infection. She was now at a high risk for losing her leg. The local missionary, Dr. Tim Rice, said they would try to do surgery this week on her leg to see if it can be saved.

Dr. Rice praying with Masha
(Photo courtesy of Mark & Kelly Hewes, used with permission)
Then two days later, MAF received another call for a 15 year old boy named Plamedie with another open ulcer on his leg. He had been living with an open sore on his leg for 3 years, but had been reasonably well looked after and wasn’t as serious as the little girl. He still required medical attention, so Kevin flew him and his father out to Vanga as well. Dr. Rice informed Plamedie that his x-rays looked good and that he expected him to make a full recovery without surgery.

Plamedie looking at his x-rays
(Photo courtesy of Mark & Kelly Hewes, used with permission)
Please pray for these young children who risked losing their legs to infections that could have possibly been treated with over the counter products found in a local pharmacy, but are not available to those living in remote villages. I will post updates when we find out more information about Masha's situation and Plamedie's recovery. 

***Update 8 November 2015***
Plamedie is in his home village recovering quite well.
Masha's surgery went well but she is still at a risk of losing her leg. Prospects are looking better for her but she is not out of the woods yet. 

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