We were called to a lady in Tangumsili in the bush who was having trouble giving birth, so I immediately had Maichel, our young local pilot, plan the flight for the next morning. I had happened to run into a local doctor who used to fly with Helimission quite often to help with emergencies, and to help us non-medical background pilots know the seriousness of the patient.
Early the next morning Maichel and I pre-flighted the helicopter. Dr. Mia showed up right on time and was very excited to join us. The weather was quite cloudy, but the path was open for us to arrive at the village. The villagers excitedly told us that the baby was born and doing fine; the mother however was not doing so great. Dr. Mia confirmed that the baby was healthy and doing just fine. After she checked the mother, she decided it was best to take the family back to Wamena to get the mother the care she needed in the hospital.
It is so valuable having Dr. Mia on these flights as she really takes her job seriously and really loves the people. Having someone with a medical background takes a lot of stress off us pilots too. Dr. Mia does so much for us that we do not see. Every patient we bring to the hospital she follows up on. She helps organize translators and other paperwork that can be overwhelming for families coming from the jungle.
Maichel got everyone settled in the helicopter and brought us to the hospital safely. It is great to see our local pilots progressing in their flying and ground operations skills, and to be able to rely on them. I really enjoy the time I get to invest into these guys! As our expat team here is down to just a few of us, we really appreciate the help we get from all these amazing workers!