700th Medevac in Timor-Leste

Posted: on March 27, 2015

Story Angela Harding

It was 8.30am on Sunday the 22nd of March. Pilot Jonathan Lowe was getting ready for church when he received the call. Maria, a 39 year old local woman from Suai, who was in the late stages of pregnancy, was having complications and the Ministry of Health needed MAF to transport her to Dili hospital urgently.

Jonathan responded immediately. He changed into his pilot’s uniform, left his wife Angela and the children to go on to church alone, and headed for the airport. Once at the MAF hangar, Jonathan prepared the aircraft and installed the stretcher, then with the flight plan submitted and MAF’s agent at Suai alerted, Jonathan was airborne.

When he landed at Suai 27 minutes later, a large crowd had imag4083_300already started to gather. Many knew Maria personally. The group, together with Jonathan, waited about twenty minutes for the ambulance to arrive.

Patient Maria, together with her husband, mother and midwife, was then transferred to the MAF plane for the flight to Dili. As Jonathan took to the skies a little later, he reflected that “this was our 700th patient we have transferred from the districts to Dili since we started in flight operations in Timor-Leste in 2007.”

But that number was quickly surpassed. The following day pilot Michael Bottrell was called on to provide another 2 medical evacuation flights!

Read the full story in the upcoming “Flying for Life” magazine.



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