I was up at the airport yesterday and I ran into my good friend, a Captain on the MU-2, doing medevacs. The Captain was at Pearson for a few hours and we got to hang out for a little bit. It was great to my friend, and it was also nice to see one of the MU-2's I used to fly. The weather was crap yesterday lots of low ceilings, poor visibilities, rain, and icing and my friend told me they were having a hard time planning for a suitable alternate airport, as the weather stretched a few hundred miles in every direction. We walked to our hangar so I could show off our plane and as we walked, we watched airliners breaking out of the low clouds just before landing at Pearson. It was pretty cool as all the water vapour in the air was condensing in vortices around the wings and engines of the airliners, so it looked like they were all leaving smoke trails behind them, like aircraft at an airshow.
Anyway, I was waxing nostalgic so I went through some old notes I made and found this previously unblogged bit of writing from when I was flying the MU-2 on medevacs. All these vignettes took place while I was flying with my Captain pal.
From May 2004:
A random listing of the past few medevac patients that have stood out:
An stunningly attractive 75-year-old woman recovering from a broken arm and broken leg, telling us stories about leaving her family in Italy to escape the Nazis in WW2, coming to Canada and becoming Miss Canada circa 1950. Another woman blessed with amazing cheekbones and flawless skin. I only hope I can age as well as she has.
A 45 year old poor bugger with testicle, prostate, urethral and bladder cancer whose testicles were so swollen they needed to be specially supported and elevated the entire flight. The medic earned his money on that one.
A 14 year old boy being taken home after a kidney transplant. Before we boarded he asked his mom if he could use the washroom. His mom said sure, and as he walked off to go pee, she noticed my quizzical gaze. She said "He's still getting used to using the washroom, he hasn't gone pee for the past 5 years so it's a little strange for him". He was a great kid and we let him sit up front and fly for a bit on the way home. His eyes were the size of dinner plates while he flew us onward with his mom videotaping the whole thing. Definitely got the warm fuzzies on that trip.
A young fellow with a popped eyeball with a plastic dixie cup taped over the socket, going to have some metal chunks removed from his face.
The 20 year old psych patient we flew to the psych center a few times. After the first time, he escaped and hopped on the train back home to Moosonee, where he was picked up wandering in the railway yard and eating rocks. Yeah that's right, eating rocks. Hopefully he didnt chew. A couple of weeks later once his new meds kicked in, we flew him home where hopefully he'll enjoy a more normal diet.
the 300+ lb woman we were taking to be treated for heart problems who remarked "You are lucky I lost 40 pounds in the past few months" as I was grunting and sweating unloading her. I would have preferred she had showered in the past 30 days over losing the weight, because...well...you don't wanna know.
The poor 35-year old fellow with no previous medical history who checked into the hospital one morning cause he had an unusually painful headache, then had a stroke. We took him down to a major center that afternoon to get his organs harvested before they unplugged him. Makes my worries about paying the phone bill on time or what to thaw out for supper seem totally meaningless.
Those are the ones off the top of my head that have been remarkable over the past couple of weeks. The rest have been standard heart problems or whatever.
On that note, thank Jebus for the smokers, they are our bread and butter. If you smoke and aren't smoking at this exact second, I urge you to pull one out and light it up. Things have been a bit slow so far today and I wouldn't mind flying.