Dyro and I were scheduled for a flight to bring in some church leaders to a celebration marking the completion of a church building project. On the morning before the flight we were informed of a medical evacuation in the area, but we were unclear as to the seriousness of the situation.
We landed in the village to drop off the team of church leaders. When we put the village of Kosona in our GPS, we found out we didn’t have it. However, we had the GPS coordinates and a general idea of where to go. After a rather elaborate search we found the village.
A man with a broken leg needed to get to the hospital. We shut the helicopter down and headed to the honai (local home) to check out how serious it was. The hike wasn’t too far away, but it wasn’t an easy walk. When we got to the honai, we heard a lot of commotion. I climbed into the honai and found an elderly man with a broken shin bone. It was heavily infected and looked very painful. The villagers gathered before having to transfer him from the honai, down the path to the helicopter. You could see and hear the pain he was in on every turn or drop in the trail. We got him situated in the helicopter and headed for the hospital in Wamena along with two of his friends. Once the doors were shut and we had some air flow, you could really smell the wound, which wasn’t pleasant. On arrival at the hospital, we had to transfer him onto the stretcher, which again was a very painful transition. I am so glad that we could get him to the hospital for care.