God orchestrates life-saving flights through MAF and its partners

MAF Haiti usually doesn’t fly on Sunday unless it’s a life-threatening situation. This time, two lives hung in the balance: a woman in critical condition following a stroke, and a young boy with a high fever and shakes. HERO, a medical organization, called MAF’s after-hours phone number requesting Sunday medical evacuations from Cap Haitian to Port-au-Prince.

A number of “coincidences” happened to line up that day so the patients could receive the urgent care they needed:

  • Because it wasn’t known if the boy was contagious, two airplanes were needed so the stroke patient would not be exposed to the unknown illness.
  • Two airplanes had just enough flight time available to make the flights before they would have to come off the line for an inspection.
  • These two airplanes were scheduled for flights of the same length on Monday, so they were already fueled and ready to go.
  • One had a flat tire repaired on Saturday, instead of Monday, because a pilot decided to take care of it when he stopped by the hangar to work on a few things.
  • HERO sent two paramedics on each airplane so they could attend to each patient during their flight.

That last bullet point turned out to be extremely important, as the pilots realized when they landed in Cap Haitian. “It was immediately apparent that the stroke victim was not doing well,” said Dan Wanvig, one of the MAF pilots that day. “It was an all-hands-on-deck situation to get her stabilized and intubated in preparation for the flight.”

Because there were four paramedics, three of them were able to work on the stroke victim, while the fourth tended to the boy.

“I don’t know how they would have managed with any fewer paramedics,” Dan said.

So two medical evacuations at the same location, on the same day, plus four paramedics, and two MAF pilots and aircraft that were available on a Sunday adds up to one big God who was overseeing all the details.

Both patients were safely delivered to Port-au-Prince, where they were loaded into an ambulance and whisked away to the hospital.

HERO paramedics stabilize a stroke patient prior to an MAF flight in Haiti. Photo courtesy of Dan Wanvig.


  • Frances Aldridge says:

    Praise God!

  • Robert W Spiers says:

    A little off subject from this article but interesting none the less. An Air Force pilot friend of mine was assigned to an office next to mine to do some staff work. We got to talking and come to find out we both support MAF and his grandparents are mentioned in the acknowledgments (George and Martha Ayers) of the book “Jungle Pilot”. It can be a very small world sometimes.

  • Harry says:

    Praise God!

  • Alton Harrison says:

    God cares for people through people. God has two dwelling places; one in Heaven, and the other in a meek and thankful heart. God is no more than a prayer away. I hope that the people in Haiti are truly thankful to the MAF and those that do this marvelous work with the people who are in need. Amen!

  • Lena says:

    Praise God for his perfect timing! Thank you MAF for being on duty to save lives!

  • Don says:

    Our GOD is an awesome GOD!

  • Barbara Farrington says:

    Wonderful. ‘one big God who was overseeing all the details.’
    That brought tears to my eyes as,with my husband having early onset Alzheimer’s I needed further assurance that God by His grace would really handle ‘every minute situation’ as some words in the night had shown me. Yesterday or the day before I asked God to really confirm this to me and I have just read your example in Haiti. The words you have just used were a particular blessing. Many thanks and God bless!

  • Nancy Young says:

    This touched my heart on so many levels! Thank you Lord! Hope these patients are doing okay

  • Royce H Robertson says:

    I love to read about miracles. Hope the stroke patient is ok as well as the boy. Kudos to your team of angels.

  • Chet Shane says:

    God and medics work on the Sabbath. As a retired USAF medic I have worked many Sabbaths. Thank you God and MAF for taking care of two seriously ill patients.

  • Jim Birren says:

    I will never leave you!

  • Sharon King says:

    Our amazing God knows everything needed and provided abundantly…
    Praise God for His MAF servants who stepped out in Faith in order to assist these 2 people in their critical time of need.

  • Diane Miller says:

    This whole rescue situation must have been a “God thing!” Our
    God is an awesome God!! Many thanks to all who helped to
    make this a successful rescue for both the stroke patient and
    the boy with an unknown illness!

  • Bonnie Phipps says:

    I needed to hear this. It blesses my spirit as I grow in faith. Thank you, Jesus.


    Gloire et louange à notre seigneur Jésus-Christ et un grand merci aux pilotes ayant accepté de travailler le dimanche.

  • Diane Miller says:

    Reading this account again, it is just as inspiring! It strengthens
    my faith in our awesome God, who watches over us day and night
    with His tender loving care.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *