Gored by a boar

01 July 2011

The life of a little girl in Papua New Guinea, severely gored by a wild boar, was saved thanks to an MAF emergency flight.

Nine-year-old Diana had been tending the family vegetable patch in a small village more than a full day's walk from Mengamanau, the nearest first-aid post and airstrip.

Severely bleeding from boar bites to her legs and chest, her father and uncle took it in turns to carry Diana from home to Mengamanau to seek medical assistance.

Touch and go

The next day, pilot Mike Bottrell was in the air just minutes after the emergency call came in at 4.30pm. It was touch and go: a few minutes later and the flight could not have left as sufficient time for the round trip would be needed to get back to Mt Hagen before dark.

On the return flight, Diana stopped bleeding, possibly as a result of severe dehydration. All those on board were very concerned.

Upon landing at Mt Hagen, an ambulance transported Diana to the emergency department at the hospital where she was stabilised before an extensive operation two days later to repair the damage.

Diane with her father

Slow recovery

Recuperation was slow. Wild boar bites are notorious for slow healing, infection and complications. MAF staff helped, taking meals to the hospital and Diana is now back in her village.

'I doubt that any of us will ever know exactly what Diana does in her life,' said Geoff Boer, our PNG Finance Manager. 'But we are thanking God that we could be part of it.'

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