For the next two days, Grant took Thys for injections for his kidneys, I sent meals across to keep him eating (and so keep his sugar stable) and the other men popped in regularly to see if he was OK. On Wednesday morning Grant phoned me and said "Don't make breakfast for Thys. We have him on a drip in hospital!"
He'd steadily become worse, and Grant set the wheels in motion that day to do a Med-e-vac from Mwadui airstrip. Of course, the red-tape and other bureaucratic issues took all day to sort out. Eventually at 5pm the Flying Doctors contacted Grant, asked for co-ordinates and said they'd be arriving at 9am on Thursday. Meanwhile I was on WA to Elize who told me which medication to pack for Thys, and which clothes would be best for him in hospital in Dar Es Salaam. I also found his other two mobile phones which I charged here at home and put them in his backpack. That night, Grant and I took dinner to Thys who had to spend the night in the hospital. The sister had placed screens around his bed, which was under the ceiling fan, so I took photos of his private ward on my phone to send to Elize in SA.
Early next morning Grant collected Thys from hospital and took him back to his flat to have a shower, and check that I'd packed the correct stuff in his bag. Then they fetched me at our gate and we drove to the airstrip.
A great send-off for a popular expat!
the Client ambulance was in attendance as well
Mwadui Air Terminal
Arrivals and Departure Hall!
The Client fire-engine was on standby as well
|The plane flew over the strip towards town and turned around
It flew back over the airstrip, towards the mine and turned towards the landing strip
Grant, coordinator and arranger of the Med-e-vac checks the strip is clear for the landing
The pilot touched down and approached the end of the strip
Colleagues watch as the flying doctor helps Thys into the plane
Grant walking off screen to meet the doctor who had Thys' medical report
Dr Leonard, our resident intern
Back in the plane's well-equipped cabin, Thys was being stabilized before take-off
People popped their heads into the cabin and wished Thys well
And then it was time for the plane to take off
With dust swirling up around the aircraft, soon we could only hear the engines roaring...
And when we looked up the plane was gone!
I took photos on my phone for Elize at the same time.
Within two hours the plane had landed in Dar Es Salaam and by mid-afternoon Grant received a phone call from the Med-e-vac company in South Africa. Thys had been admitted and was being tended to.
The doctors in Dar Es Salaam treated Thys for kidney pain (he'd not had kidney stones after all) and for his liver which had taken a beating through all this trauma.
On Friday night Elize sent me a WA. She had spoken to Thys on his mobile. He was tons better, his kidney and liver pains had abated and she said he sounded like his old self again. I passed the message on to Grant who advised HR and also the Client PR.
On Sunday Thys phoned Grant to say that he was being discharged in the morning. HO in Dar will arrange his flight back to Mwanza on a commercial airline. He should be back on site - where Grant will have him on light duties only - by Wednesday.
A very successful Med-e-vac. Well done Grant!
Here's wishing you all a wonderful week ahead.