Another MSF day that started with changes as usual. One of the Medair workers had been in a motorcycle accident and had broken his leg in the Amade area. Since I was going right over the airstrip on my way to Dingila I worked it out to drop in and pick him up. It didn’t seem like it would be the best way to spend a day, to have to ride around in the plane for the next 6 hours as I was dropping off supplies and picking up people all along the way back, but it was better than sitting in a bush clinic with an unset, un-plastered broken leg or bouncing down a dirt road for many more hours in that condition. We got through on the HF radio to meet at the airstrip at 10 o’clock and I was only 5 minute off of that estimate. John, the patient, had ridden to the little bush strip, that is just a widened bit of a dirt road, on the back of a motorcycle with his leg sticking out straight over the leg of the guy driving him. He was wincing in agony as we picked him up and put him in a seat in the plane where he smiled his thanks through the pain. We bounced off down the narrow airstrip on the rest of the round robin trip back to Bunia.
It was Vincent’s last flight with me before going back to Switzerland where he works in off time doing ski patrol/rescue in the alps. The MSF guys become close friends in their missions out here and I had him up in the front seat for the best ride in the house. He called ahead a couple of stops to his destination and arranged for one of MSF’s nurses to come to the Ango airstrip with pain medicines to give some relief for the rest of our patient’s voyage.
It looked very professional to me as the nurse got all sanitary and put on gloves. Got out a sterile syringe and filled it with the pain medicine. Then giving the shot, although it looked a bit painful to the patient, very confidently. All in the back of the plane without having to move John around much.
Another one of my passengers, Danny, from Spain, had been doing a lot of work on the Zobia airstrip. It was our next stop and we were able to get out in the Caravan with no problem having the extra emergency passenger. It is always good to help friends and also to work as a team while doing it. It was very satisfying to see a plan come together.