Sweat drips from my forehead and seeps into Mrs. Mofolo’s T-shirt as I count the chest compressions. I hadn’t realized I was sweating. It’s already been almost five minutes of Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) with no response. I’m not giving up yet though.
Mrs. Mofolo was in labor several hours before I even arrived with the airplane. Somewhere on our fourteen minute flight to the hospital things became drastically worse for Mrs. Mofolo. She has drifted into shock and is unconscious by the time we land. To make matters worse, it’s New Year’s Day and no one is answering the phone at the hospital so there is no ambulance waiting for us.
She is too heavy for me to get her out of the airplane by myself, so I hold her head upright to keep her airway open. I’m trying to keep her with me by talking to her. My arm begins to burn with the weight of her head and the awkwardness of the small aircraft seats. I’m praying out loud for God to touch her and her baby and for His will in their lives, and hoping beyond hope for a miracle.
We’ve been on the ground 27 minutes and there is still no sign of the ambulance. Trying to do CPR from the seat of a Cessna 206 is not graceful. Eight minutes have passed since her last breath. I’m exhausted. And Mrs. Mofolo is gone.
I’ve done my best. I’m exhausted, physically and emotionally. As I’m praying I’m reminded that I am not always privy to God’s plan. A strange peace sweeps over me and I sense God’s love, even in the midst of this tragedy. It’s a hard thing, but I’m humbled that God chose to use me today.
Flights like this highlight the importance of MAF Lesotho’s flights, which make healthcare and emergency treatment available to nearly 300,000 Basotho people living in mountainous regions. Unfortunately, tragedies like this are common with 25% percent of the population dealing with HIV/AIDS.