One last, life-saving flight, really

(I know this is my second post for the day, but bear with me please.)

On Tuesday I blogged about my final flight into the Himalayas, and then, on Wednesday, a client came in to book a medical evacuation for a young girl who had intense stomach pain and was stuck in a remote village. They guessed that it was appendicitis, but wanted to get her back to the capital as soon as possible to check. I wrote about the initial funny side of the flight yesterday, but once we had loaded her into the helicopter, the business side of the flight kicked in. In the two months I’ve been here we haven’t had one medevac. This week alone we have had three …

The villagers carried her down on their shoulders to the waiting helicopter, and then chose two young girls to fly back to Kathmandu with her. They were amazing: it was their first time in a helicopter, on top of which had to comfort and care for their friend who was clearly in a lot of pain. There were tears, of course, and one of them spent much of the flight praying, but they held their friend tight, made sure she didn’t lose consciousness and supported each other.

We flew back as fast as the helicopter would take us, to find an ambulance waiting at the helipad. I’ve heard subsequently that it wasn’t appendicitis, as originally suspected, but that she in the care of an excellent gastroenterologist at a local hospital.

All is well that ends well. And the perfect flight to call my last here in Nepal.

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