Four months with a broken leg

Four months with a broken leg

With no roads and no money for travel, Lona had to spend 4 months with a broken leg before she was able to receive help.

Story: Mandy Glass, MAF Communications Officer, Papua New Guinea
Photos: Remi van Wermeskerken

It had been 7 years since a pilot has been based in Madang, Papua New Guinea. Remi and his wife Tjandra moved there at the end of 2015, and have already been a blessing to many people and communities, sometimes in ways they never imagined.

MAF pilit Remi and his wife Tjandra in Papua New Guinea

Remi first met Lona on a day when MAF's faithful GA8 Airvan aircraft P2-MFK was booked to fly for a school at Nankina in the Finisterre Mountains.

The headmaster of the local school, Edwin, keeps telling Remi what a blessing it is to have a plane based in Madang again. The school in Nankina really depends on the MAF plane to get their teachers and supplies to the village. There are no roads anywhere in this area of the Finisterre Mountains.

Carrying water for 9 miles

After Remi landed and was unloading the school supplies and passengers, he noticed several men. ‘They were carrying a young woman on a home made stretcher, hanging on a pole so they could carry the patient by holding the pole on their shoulders.’

The young woman’s name was Lona, a grade 6 student who used to walk 9 miles down a mountain every day to fetch drinking water for the people in her village. She would carry the water in pieces of bamboo on her back. One day, it was very slippery and she fell and broke her leg.

 As the people in the village have no money for travel or medical help, Lona had to endure enormous pain and suffering for 4 months.

‘There are no roads anywhere in this area of the Finisterre Mountains.’

When Edwin, the school headmaster, heard about what happened, he sent word for her village to carry her down 6 miles to Nankina and he’d put her on an MAF flight.

Thanks to Edwin and MAF, Lona finally got to the coastal city of Madang where there is a hospital, and she could finally receive the treatment she had needed for months.

Give life-transforming flights

MAF GA8 Airvan aircraft at Nankina, Papua New Guinea