Sandra’s Story

Read about Sandra's trip to Nairobi, Kenya and how she ended up needing an air medical flight through Angel MedFlight.

70-year-old Sandra Olsen* traveled to Nairobi, Kenya as a volunteer on a medical mission. During a work-related trip to Uganda, 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 Angel MedFlight” said Natalie. “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 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