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From Kenya to Kansas: Angel MedFlight returns medical worker to U.S. for treatment

In the fall, 70-year-old Sandra Olsen* traveled to Nairobi, Kenya as a volunteer on a medical mission. During a work-related trip to Ugunda, Sandra was bitten by a mosquito. Approximately a week later, she went into shock with an altered mental state and suffered an overall loss of kidney function. At the Nairobi Hospital, Sandra was started on dialysis and diagnosed with malaria.

Although malaria has been eradicated in North America, Europe and much of the Middle East, the disease is still prevalent in parts of Africa. Malaria can only be spread through contact with infected blood. It is most commonly spread through mosquito bites, but it can also be transmitted through blood transfusions. In addition to immediate treatment for the disease, Sandra required a blood transfusion and her condition was critical. Her son flew from the U.S. to be with her at her bedside.

The family immediately realized the importance of getting Sandra medical care in the U.S., but was uncertain how to transport her the 9,415 miles back to Kansas. Then Sandra's daughter, Natalie Johnson*, contacted Angel MedFlight.

"I read the testimonials on your website and was very impressed," explained Natalie. "I wish I would have found Angel MedFlight sooner, so we could have gotten my mother home right away."

The Angel MedFlight medical team picked up Sandra and her son at the Nairobi Hospital and transported them to Via Christi Regional Medical Center in Wichita, Kansas where she continued her treatment. Just days after her release from the Kansas hospital, Sandra's condition worsened. This time she recognized the symptoms. She returned to the medical center quickly and was diagnosed with malaria again. Most likely, when Sandra received a blood transfusion in Africa, she had been unknowingly infected with the disease a second time. She was treated immediately and symptoms diminished. Weeks later, she made a full recovery.

"I was very impressed with Jeremy Freer [Angel MedFlight CEO]," said Natalie. "There were no time constraints. I could call in the middle of the night and he would answer. Also the help we received from the Angel MedFlight legal staff really took the load off me and my dad so we could concentrate on my mother. Knowing that they were taking care of the insurance claim really made me rest easier at night."

* Names have been changed to protect the patient's privacy

"Everything for my husband's flight was wonderful. The Angel MedFlight medical crew was so nice and easy to work with. They kept my husband comfortable. They held his hand; it was great. The flight coordinator explained everything to me ahead of time. She told me what was going to happen and what to expect. I am afraid of flying but they made me feel comfortable. When we landed, the ambulance was right there and ready to go. Everything went well. I want to thank everyone at Angel MedFlight, they were fantastic."

Janet Hollis

Birmingham, Alabama

"...We are thrilled that everything has gone so well! We tremendously appreciate the care and support that everyone at Angel MedFlight has provided Betty leading up to this point . They helped keep her informed about her condition, which was so important to us, and as comfortable and healthy as possible while she waited for transplant. We thank them for their expertise and kind compassion."

Nancy F. (Patient's Mother)

Dallas, Texas

"My mother and I just wanted to thank Angel MedFlight for all of their help and consideration moving my father and mother to Texas. It could not have went any smoother just as they told me it would. My parents got here safely and dad is in the nursing home and I'm sure his progression will improve. Again, thanks Angel MedFlight for the tremendous effort. The crew was great with my parents."

Bob N. (Patient's Son)

San Antonio, Texas

"I read the testimonials on your website and was very impressed. I wish I would have found Angel MedFlight sooner, so we could have gotten my mother home right away. I was very impressed with Angel MedFlight. There were no time constraints. I could call in the middle of the night and they would answer. Also, the help we received from the Angel MedFlight staff really took the load off me and my dad so we could concentrate on my mother. Knowing that they were taking care of the insurance claim really made me rest easier at night."

Natalie J. (Patient's Daughter)

Wichita, Kansas

"Angel MedFlight is absolutely fantastic. Beyond fabulous. The pilot, paramedic, nurse -- all of them. It was the best flight I ever had in my life."

Kayla D.

Flown to US from vacation in Mexico