Back in 2013, MAF Timor-Leste received an urgent call to help 23-year-old Elizita Cardoso, a young mother whose joy at expecting twins turned to fear when she began to show signs of pre-eclampsia pregnancy complications.
The speedy delivery of both babies was vital, but living in the rural town of Suai, Elizita faced a nine-hour journey on poor quality roads to receive the medical treatment she desperately needed in Dili.
Fortunately, within 90 minutes, MAF’s GA8 Airvan had left Dili, collected Elizita, and brought her back to the capital for an emergency caesarean. The outcome? Two beautiful, healthy babies, delighted parents, and a new family able to return home to Suai a week later. One MAF plane made the difference between life and death.
‘It was wonderful to see they are doing so well and growing up strong and healthy, with the excitement of school ahead of them next year.’
– Jonathon Lowe
Our teams rarely hear anything further from the patients they fly, but in October 2018, Pilot Jonathan Lowe had the happy opportunity to return to Suai and catch up with Elizita and her twin sons, Forino and Farino. The 5½-year-old twins have flourished over the years since their difficult birth and got a chance to climb in the plane and see what it’s like to be a pilot, checking out the controls and listening in to the radio.
For Jonathan, it was an amazing experience to see the joyous result of just one of the many medical evacuation flights he has flown as an MAF pilot. He said, ‘I had some time while waiting for my passengers in Suai so I thought I would to go to the nearby village to see if I could find the twins. It was wonderful to see they are doing so well and growing up strong and healthy, with the excitement of school ahead of them next year.’
Every day, our 27 programs receive calls to carry out urgent life-saving medical flights. In Timor-Leste alone we have carried out more than 1,800 medical evacuation flights since our program started there in 2007.