Medevac Monday in Papua New Guinea

Medevac Monday in Papua New Guinea

Indian Pilot Satish Moka recently jumped on a medevac flight to rescue a man with a broken leg from Tamo, a village 75 miles north of Mt Hagen.

‘The well-oiled machinery of MAF had already swung into action,’ Satish said as Pilot Steven Eatwell prepared the Cessna Caravan P2-MAF for the flight.

Story and photos by Satish Moka 

They had one stop to make on the way to Tamo. they needed to drop MAF engineer Lazarus in Tsendiap to fix a burst tyre, but were soon on their way to the village situated in a vast forested plain.

‘Amidst the thick mass of dark green, was a small patch of light green which we could make out from about a good ten miles away,’ Satish said as the airstrip got closer.

‘Steven made the necessary radio calls and positioned the aircraft for a smooth touchdown on the grassy strip at Tamo. The people stood well clear but soon thronged around the aircraft after the pilot shut down the engine.’

‘The patient who fractured his shin bone was carried to the aircraft on a makeshift stretcher. Steven was busy preparing the aircraft. He dismantled two seats to make space, brought the stretcher out from the cargo pod and fixed the mattress onto the cabin floor using the harnesses.’

‘Under the wing of the aircraft, the patient was transferred carefully onto the stretcher and Steven supervised the positioning into the cabin. The stretcher was secured to the cabin floor.’

‘The importance of knowing ‘Tok Pisin’ dawned on me as I saw Steven fluently passing instructions to the men who were helping him in the task’, Satish reflects. ‘He chatted with the villagers and soon prepared the aircraft for its return trip to Mt Hagen.’

‘As we found a hole of blue above the green pointed ridge line, we squeezed in through the pass and back to the Hagen valley. We finally landed at Mt Hagen and trusted the patient into the hands of our ground staff who were ready for our patient.’

What happened next?

The man received treatment at hospital for the double fracture to his lower leg he sustained when a tree fell on him. On the 21st July MAF returned the man back to his village on another flight. His leg was in a cast and he was walking on crutches. He will need to go to Wewak hospital in a few weeks to have the cast removed.

Please pray for a full recovery and that the man doesn’t suffer any long-term effects as a result of his accident. 

‘Amidst the thick mass of dark green, was a small patch of light green which we could make out from about a good ten miles away' Satish Moka