In January, Northern Irish missionary Maud Kells was flown by an MAF plane to hospital to be treated for gunshot wounds received during a robbery in her village in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The 75-year-old was shot twice in the shoulder in a night attack by bandits in Mulita on 4 January 2015.
Staff from MAF’s Nyankunde base co-ordinated a medevac flight and shortly after Maud was treated, Jon Cadd, the pilot and programme manager in eastern DRC, wrote the following: “I had the privilege of doing the flight. As reports came in, the needs changed. Destinations changed, the need for blood and equipment changed. But we got there and the medical team of four did an amazing job of trauma care. It was great to watch and be part of it. When we arrived at remote Mulita, Maud’s home, we saw hundreds of people – including high-ranking police and church workers. Heavily armed military personnel had secured a perimeter around the area and were standing guard with their weapons. They were taking things very seriously and doing everything they could to show that they cared for Maud. We were shown into the house, where we found about 40 people in the living room and 10 in Maud’s bedroom. Doctor Mike cleared out about half the visitors, but the room remained stiflingly hot.”
Cadd continued: “The doctors had brought a portable ultrasound unit and set it up so they could assess the extent of Maud’s injuries. She was given blood to replace what she had lost, as well as intravenous fluids and medication to relieve the pain. Eventually, Maud was carried onto the plane with much ceremony. After we had secured the stretcher, the church leaders prayed for a safe flight and for Maud’s swift recovery, and we finally took off. We climbed through the broken puffy clouds and began to feel that things would be okay. After the two-hour flight back to Nyankunde, Maud was taken to the intensive care unit where the wound was cleaned out and everything checked. Although the bullet had gone straight through and out, it had grazed one of her lungs.”