Mission Bush Pilot and Nurse

After spending three years in Guyana, South America, we have now moved to Bewani, 50 Km south of Vanimo, Papua New Guinea. We have started a new humanitarian aviation ministry here. In visiting with health officials and church people here, the need for an aviation program to reach into remote villages became very apparent. We are taking health workers and medicines/vaccines, into remote village airstrips and bringing out critically ill patients to the hospital. We also fly in educational materials for schools, as well as take in Bible workers. Toni is helping with the medical end of things, while Gary takes care of the flying part. We have several local lay missionaries we sponsor and we do ground transport for patients as well. We are volunteers here to serve our God and the unreached people of Papua New Guinea. We have a great need for more people to join in this effort.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

emergency calls

Emergency call

We do not have a 911 or similar system here to use when there is a medical emergency. The options are limited and sometimes not very reliable.  If you are out in the jungle and have a medical emergency, you can try to go to the closest health post and they may or may not have a ham radio that is working to call town for medical advice; or maybe an airplane for a medevac.  You might be lucky and be in an area that has cell phone service once in awhile and can call for assistance.  If you have none of the above, you might find a pickup to transport you--if you are near a logging road.  That could take hours or a day or two to get to help.  If no road or vehicle is available, you walk or boat or…

It is not a very great system. We have just gotten cell service to our airbase here in Bewani.  It isn't working all the time yet, but it is more on than off, so that is a big improvement for us.  Now the health department can call us for airlifts and weather reports, instead of driving 1.5 hours to tell us.

Last week I went to pick up a health worker to bring in for some training and he met me at the airstrip with a patient needing transport.  The patient was severely bloated and in pain.  So I loaded him on the airplane, and the health worker ended up traveling by pickup 10 hrs to town.  From there, I went out further into the jungle to pick up an adult with bad appendicitis along with his caregiver.  The plane was full, so off to hospital we went.  A couple of days later in the pouring rain, a health department vehicle showed up at my door with news that there was a patient in labor that needed immediate transport to hospital.  They said it had rained last night at that airstrip and was wet.  My weather in Bewani was really bad all day and I pointed that out, plus the fact that the airstrip they needed me at was not a good airstrip and dangerous when wet.  I told them I would have to wait and maybe tomorrow would be better. The next morning on the radio, the village called early and said weather was fine and the airstrip had dried.  It was good here at home, so off I went.  When I reached the village, there was a young mother who had been in labor for 3 days, and was too weak to deliver.  She looked very weak to me so off to the hospital we went.

Last night they came to our house from the clinic here at 10:30 pm saying they had a mother needing to go to hospital right away.  The baby was in fetal distress.  So we got dressed, put fuel in car, and the mattress and off we went.  It was her first pregnancy and she had been in labor for over 40 hrs. The baby was not doing well, so we left for town in the car.  We can't fly here at night, as there are no lighted airstrips.  It had rained so the road was not only bumpy but also very muddy and slippery!  The car was now covered in mud, and due to the road conditions, the travel was slow and we didn't want to make it too hard on the patient.  Twenty minutes from town, the rear tire went flat.  I checked the spare and it was flat, also.   It was now 1 a.m. and starting to drizzle. The fetal heartbeat was getting dangerously low (72).  There was no cell service in that area, but I knew if I walked down the road a ways, I would soon get service.  So off I went while leaving Toni and the local nurse with the patient, in case she decided to deliver in the car, as some have done in the past!  About a mile down the road, I got service.  I called the health manager in town, but his cell phone was not working.  Then I called the pastor and he answered.  I knew his spare tire rim would fit on mine.  He said he would come right away! Our prayers were answered!  After I left, the male nurse who was helping Toni, got very concerned about me hiking off by myself in the dark so he started out after me.  I met him on the way back.  He said it was very dangerous for me to go alone.  I wasn't really alone, as I have angels that go with me.

We got the patient delivered to the hospital at 2 a.m.—three hours after we left home on a trip that usually takes half that time.  Hopefully she delivered the baby okay.  We got home about 4 a.m. and were exhausted!

And so goes emergency calls here, each is different and unique.  Lives are being saved though, and we praise God for the opportunity to serve Him.

Thank you for your prayers and support that make this possible.

We really enjoy it when you take a few minutes to write to us.

Gary and Toni Lewis

Our latest video from here can be seen on our website along with other pictures

www.lewisjungleministries.com

 

Donations can be sent to:

Mission Projects Inc.

P.O. Box 504

College Place WA 99324

Please include a note: PNG project

Or go to www.Missionprojectsinc.org for cc or online donations

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