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Alex Minium flies to medevac Jocel

God Works Despite COVID-19

 Just because COVID-19 is at the forefront of healthcare these days doesn’t mean that all other health problems are “on hold”!

A missionary couple in one of the remote villages that Ethnos360 Aviation serves faced that stark reality near the end of April. A little girl, Jocel, was brought to their clinic, severely malnourished. At two years old, she weighed a mere 15 ½ pounds!

The missionary wife, Marianne, had established the small medical clinic to cover typical health issues that arise among their people group. She had cared for Jocel before, but this time she was alarmed to see the severe dehydration – beyond the treatment her clinic was equipped to administer.

Often, in such a case, Marianne’s husband will transport the patient two or three hours to a town hospital. But due to COVID-19 and the very strict local quarantine guidelines put in place by the government, driving this particular patient to the hospital would have been difficult, if not impossible. Instead, she prepared for a medevac, completing all the necessary COVID-19 paperwork to hand Jocel’s care off to the hospital.

What a relief to her to know that Ethnos360 Aviation was standing by to do emergency medevacs, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. The mayor himself, by approval from the national government, had outlined a plan for our pilots to carry out both emergency medical and essential supply flights when needed.

Following protocol dictated by the local authorities, pilots Brian Schaadt and Alex Minium donned masks and gloves for the trip. That day, Jocel, along with her mother and father, got a helicopter ride out of the village – right to the Ethnos360 Aviation hangar. From there, Brian and Alex drove them to the hospital, passing checkpoints along the way.
“COVID-19 protocol, a sick baby and language barriers made hospital check-in difficult,” said Alex. But after the paperwork was done, he was allowed to escort Jocel and her mother right into the ER! “Her initial oxygen stats were 82%, and Jocel wasn’t even able to stand up to be weighed,” remembers Alex.

Since the village missionaries have a great relationship with a local pediatrician, they had already alerted her to Jocel’s condition. Shortly after check-in, the pediatrician arrived to begin treatment. As of May 5, Jocel was out of the hospital and doing much better.

God enabled a whole team to work together to bring life-saving relief to this precious little girl despite all the COVID-19 regulations. Josh Dalton, chief aviation mechanic, had worked tirelessly since late 2019 to set up a computer networking system for the whole field. “It’s been a tremendously valuable tool that really shines during an event like this medical evacuation because of how it allows for everyone involved -- flight follower, pilot, missionary, and ‘ambulance driver’ (the pilots!) -- to communicate in one platform [and socially distance!],” noted Alex.

Also, Alex’s wife, Elizabeth, was key in coordinating information from the missionaries in the village. “She was able to let Brian and I know flight-critical information and to filter all other communications until after we were safely back on the ground,” said Alex. Elizabeth also helped pass along information from the missionaries pertaining to Jocel’s medical record.

Another key player in the team is you! Without your participation, Ethnos360 Aviation could not operate viable flight programs that are on deck to help when emergencies arise – even in the midst of a pandemic like COVID-19. Your investment in the Emergency Medevac Fund makes aviation service an affordable tool to bring physical and spiritual help to villages like Jocel’s. Thank you!

Tags: Aviation, Helicopter, Philippines
POSTED ON Jun 08, 2020 by Wonita Werley