Faster than the crow flies

Faster than the crow flies

An MAF medevac in Madagascar swiftly covers 200 miles over mountainous terrain to help Yvette whose life was in the balance after complications in labour

Just 20 years old, Yvette Alphonsine is all too familiar with personal loss.

Her first attempt to become a mother had ended in tragedy when the baby died six months into the pregnancy; finding the confidence to try and start a family again she conceived once more, only for history to repeat itself and this baby to also not survive to full-term. This time however, attempts over 72 hours to deliver the stillborn child were unsuccessful, leaving Yvette’s life in great danger.

In the Western world, modern medicine and skilled medical staff would make it highly unlikely that Yvette’s condition would continue for so long or leave her facing death. Yvette however isn’t fortunate enough to live in the Western world but instead comes from Bemana, a rural corner of underdeveloped Madagascar.

As the crow flies, Yvette was 200 miles away from the hospital in the capital, Antananarivo, where she urgently needed to be.

That journey would have been difficult enough given her delicate condition, but the overland route from Bemana involves hour upon hour of travel along arduous dirt roads carved through the jungle and around mountains.

Those who realised Yvette’s survival was in jeopardy knew of something far better to complete the journey than crows though – MAF.

An MAF plane collected Yvette and her father, and brought them to the capital within 90 minutes. Having performed such medical evacuations countless times before, the local MAF team had already arranged for an ambulance to be present at the airstrip, saving crucial minutes.

Handing Yvette over to the care of hospital staff, the MAF team praised God that He had used them to bring hope into a situation where all hope had been lost.