Here in Lesotho, my mom is visiting and she’s spending the morning flying with me, something we’ve only had a handful of opportunities to do together. When a call comes mid-flight that a young boy has been hit by a car and needs immediate medical evacuation to another hospital, I immediately adjust my routing and tell my mom what to expect. Her concern is evident; she even offers her seat if need be, assuring me she’ll be fine, though it means she will be stranded in a remote town in a land she does not know.
It is our policy for a passenger riding along, as is the case with my mom today, to be bumped from the flight in order to accommodate emergencies. I have room for our patient, a 9-year-old, and a nurse accompanying him. However, when the vehicle arrives, his mother is with him also wanting to travel with her badly injured son.
There’s a beautiful moment between my mom and me. We exchange a quick glance as we both realize what’s about to happen. I can almost hear my mom’s thoughts, “Do not deny me this blessing.” The thought of leaving my mom in this village by herself borders on traumatizing, but her look tells me there will be no discussion. This will be a mother for mother trade—one she is ready and eager to make.
Hape (the patient) makes it safely to the hospital where he can get the care he needs, his mom, Realebohile, by his side. And, as the Lord would have it, another medical evacuation flight call comes in just an hour later from the very same village! This time my mom is able to hop into the copilot’s seat and accompany her son (me) home.