So often we do these medical emergency flights, and when we get to Nairobi there is an ambulance waiting at the airport to whisk the sick and the injured passengers away. We are left to wonder what will happen, pray and hope for the best.
Back in January I wrote a blog called “The Smallest Passenger”. You may remember that I was sent on a medical emergency to pick up a baby girl who was only one day old, but wasn’t breathing on her own. I flew the baby and her family back to Nairobi, as usual the ambulance whisked them off to the hospital and I was left wondering what the outcome would be.
Tiffany told me later that I should have gotten a phone number, as she too wanted to know how the baby was doing. Being a regular guy, it of course never occurred to me.
Here we are about three months later, and I am pulling into the parking lot at the hangar and there is this women standing beside her car staring at me. I could tell that she wanted to speak to me, so I quickly got out of the car. She came over to me and asked “Do you remember me?”. I always dread that question when people ask it, because as pilot’s we are flying so many people all over the place so unless we have flown you a couple of times chances are we won’t remember you. So I sheepishly reply “no”.
She then explains that she was the nurse who was on the flight with the baby from Garissa. At that point I remember her, the flight and especially the little baby girl. She then tells me that she had meant to call many times to let me know what had happened to the baby, and apologized for not doing it. She expressed over and over again how grateful she and the family were that we were able to fly them back to Nairobi, and then she explained what had happened.
Apparently when they arrived at the Nairobi hospital the doctors discovered that her lungs were not fully developed, and on top of that she had phenomena. The hospitals in Nairobi could not treat her properly, so the family flew down to South Africa. The baby spent a lot of time in the hospital, but she has recovered fully and is doing fine. The family is hoping to return to their ministry in Garissa soon.
I was so happy to hear that news. So much of the flying that we do, we may never fully know what the out come of all of it will be this side of eternity. But it’s really nice to hear once in awhile that what we do makes a difference.
In the words of the famous radio commentator Paul Harvey, “And now you know, the rest of the story.”.