Recent Emergency Flight – Fernando’s Back Injury

Fernando experienced a back injury and was taken to the hospital in Trinidad. Tragically, the hardware (bolts, screws, etc.) that was available to and used by the surgeon was faulty and began to fail shortly after Fernando went back home following the operation. Soon he was in excruciating pain. Bolts had loosened and could be seen right under his skin, pushing against the tissue in several places. When a local rancher saw him, Fernando had crawled into a fetal position, his only words, “Please save me.”

The rancher contacted a group of Norwegians who were working in the area and together they were able to order and purchase the appropriate hardware. Our aviation program flew to La Paz to get the hardware and then transported Fernando to a hospital where the surgery could be re-done. Physicians there said that Fernando would have died soon of infection. After successful surgery, Fernando returned to his family. Mano a Mano gave him a walker and wheelchair. Following his recovery, Fernando learned to hand-tool leather and is able to support his wife and four children.

When Mano a Mano co-founder Segundo Velasquez was in the Beni in June, Fernando found someone to drive him to the town where Segundo was meeting and, using his walker, was able to walk into the building to greet him and thank Mano a Mano for saving his life.

Mano a Mano Provided 269 People Like Fernando With Emergency Flights in 2015

Last year, Mano a Mano’s aviation program provided emergency flights to 269 people, in addition to flying volunteer medical professionals for 40 weekend health clinics. (Check out our 2015 Annual Report here.)

Mano a Mano landing in a rural community.

Mano a Mano plane landing in a rural community for a weekend health clinic.

Every flight is unique, but the problem is the same – many people in rural Bolivia have neither the resources to get the help they need nor the help available near where they live. This is the purpose of our aviation program: to connect people in need of emergency help with access to the services they need. We are providing emergency flights for an average of 1-2 people a day, for issues ranging from snakebites and pregnancy complications to accidents and emergency care for appendicitis:

Emergency Flight For Appendicitis:

More Information About The Aviation Program

We just posted some new pictures from recent emergency flights earlier this week, along with an interview with a Mano a Mano pilot about the importance of the aviation program.

Click here to learn more about the aviation program.