Wings Over Nicaragua Mission
Mission Stories

Medical Evacuation Stories

In the Midwest Flyer Magazine

Story below: A regular day's work


This person is from a place called Sicsayeri, about 2 full days travel by boat up the Rio Coco river. He was working on his plantation when he slipped and fell, impaling himself with his machete, which they always use for their work. It went into his abdomen. Friends carried him back home, put him in a boat, and he traveled the rest of the day and all through the night to the nearest medical help, San Carlos. Upon his arrival the next day, the doctor in San Carlos realized this was an injury far beyond the limited medical care offered by their small clinic. He sent a message via radio to me, and within 45 minutes I was in San Carlos with the airplane. A half hour later, the patient was in Waspam and being carried in a truck the 5 minutes to the  hospital. It is not likely he would have survived the wait to find a boat going down the river (A few times a week), or the 10 to 15 hour boat ride down the river when he did find a boat.

At the San Carlos Airport ready for departure

While there transporting him, I also transported a 14 year old girl with a broken foot that needed more advanced medical care. 

Unloading the patient from the airplane

The Waspam airport -- meeting the truck from the hospital

It is all in a days work here!

September 9, 2011

The call on the radio from the Waspam hospital was urgent: The patient had just delivered a baby and was bleeding. They needed blood, O positive. There is no blood bank in small towns in Nicaragua; in fact, there was no blood in the hospital. The only hope for the girl was to transfer her to the larger hospital in Puerto Cabezas, 7 hours drive away. Unfortunately, she would not survive the drive due to both the very bumpy dirt road, and the 7 hours. They called the Wings Over Nicaragua Mission on the radio and requested the airplane. The pilot went into action taking out the front seat and inserting the stretcher and getting the plane ready. Meanwhile, the doctors and nurses rushed into the patient’s room, informed them what was happening, and started getting her ready. Her family hurriedly discussed this change of events. As often happens in these circumstances with the Miskito culture, the family made a decision that we in first world countries find hard to understand. They told the doctors they were refusing to allow the girl to be transported. The doctor explained that this would most likely save the girls life, and without the blood and better medical care, the girl would surely die. The mother explained that she thought her daughter was going to die anyway, and they didn’t want to have to bring the body home from a big city far from home. The value of life is different in 3rd world countries, or is it? Each of us is a child of God, and we each have the same value in His eyes. Our God, who cares when a sparrow falls to the ground, and knows how many hairs are on each of our heads, loves us with a love we cannot understand on this earth. Our help would have saved this girls life, and our help was free. When the family denies our help, we watch sadly as a life slips away, wondering how they could make such a decision with their own child that they held in their arms from a baby. It frustrates us that the death is so senseless, so easily preventable. Yet don’t we sometimes turn our back on God’s free gift of life to us? He reaches out to us, and we refuse his gift, and choose instead to walk our own way, which He knows, leads directly to death. Let each of us choose daily the path of Life, and trust our God to lead us in the way that leads to Heaven.

This happened in the Waspam, Nicaragua hospital on the morning of September 9, 2011. This is reported by Wings Over Nicaragua Mission, and

Written by: Clint Hanley, Pilot, Wings Over Nicaragua

Wings Over Nicaragua Mission
185 Harris Road
Goldendale, WA 98620
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