On the Other Side of a Medevac Flight

Serving in Haiti, my husband and the other MAF pilots are often called on to do medevac (medical evacuation) flights. Complications during childbirth, accidents, and disease are usually the cause. But recently we found our own son in need of evacuation. A simple cold had quickly turned into a complicated case of necrotizing pneumonia. His pediatrician cared for him the best she could with the resources available, but we soon realized he would need to be taken stateside. He was going downhill quickly.

After a long, stressful day full of emails, international phone calls, and lots of prayer, Elijah and I were flown on an emergency jet to East Tennessee Children’s Hospital (ETCH). Within several hours, Elijah had surgery to start removal of all the fluid and diseased tissue from his left lung. The team that cared for him said simply that we had arrived just in time… another day, and the outcome would likely have been much different.

Elijah with some of the ETCH nurses.

Over the next month, we were overwhelmed by the number of staff who came to see us, not only to help in Elijah’s care, but to let us know they were praying for our family. Friends new and old, as well as family, surrounded us with love and support. Being on the receiving end of such hospitality and outpouring of care has been humbling, to say the least, but has also reminded us just how good our God is to us.

Elijah and his sister, Cadence, with their TN pediatrician, Dr. Abby Blackmon, who also happens to serve part-time in Haiti. Photo by Dr. Greg Blackmon.

We returned to Haiti a couple of weeks ago with a better understanding of what the people we serve experience in a medevac situation, and a renewed passion to serve them well.  Something that the enemy meant for evil, God has ultimately used for our good.


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