Humanitarian Aid Work I find is an often misunderstood calling, to go to where there is no semblance of what we have in the developed world and help build the needed infrastructure takes a unique type of person. The men and women who enter these parts of the world cast their lot in with the locals and find themselves living in some extreme situations, in places where all the money in the world cannot buy something that simply is not available.
The first time I came into contact with Castle Medflight I was almost a client. While spending time in Tanzania as an Aid Worker I was called one night by a partner of mine who had decided to stay late at the hospital to assist with overnight deliveries in the Maternity Ward when an underage German pre-medical student who was visiting the country was brought in actively seizing. My partner needed a hand with coordinating treatment of the patient as well as helping calm the patients 4 underage friends who had brought her in.
The group of girls had been informed that the nearest neurologist was an 8 hour plane flight away and with booking and travel time between airports and to the hospital could see my patient in 20 hours but was unsure on what his diagnoses could be without any of his imaging equipment. In America when our neurologist makes diagnoses they ask us to head upstairs to get and MRI or CT in the hospital. Some doctors will even ask you to just come back when it's done or send you back to your room to rest. Our hospital had the only imaging department in region and it was limited to an ultrasound machine and an X-ray machine that worked only a few hours per day.
As we sat there in the dark talking with the neurologist and our patient's family in Germany about all of the medical shortcomings I could hear the distress in my patient's parents voices. The worst possible medical situation on the planet was unfolding nearly a day away from any type of support. Contacting my sponsoring NGO and informing them of the situation I was told of our organization's policy to contact Castle International if these situations developed. Our CEO had researched the region before I went in and discovered that Castle had previously supported flights out of neighboring Kenya and could reach my location faster than any other option we had available.
By this time our patient was stable, labs were returning normal, and despite our lack of imaging capability the Aid Worker desired to remain on ground until her scheduled departure the following weak. Against medical advice her parents agreed but only because of the nearby access of resources from Castle. The knowledge alone of the presence of support eased their mind and enabled them to continue to support their daughter's wishes.
As an employee I cannot be more thrilled to say that I believe in our mission here at Castle because they have been my own lifeline in an emergency. The company was built by a team that understands the unique situations of Aid Workers on the ground because we have been aid workers on the ground.