Wednesday, 2 July 2008 9:36 AM

RAMSI Doctors Save Life of Isabel Boy

An 11-year old Isabel boy is alive today thanks to some quick and generous action from RAMSI's doctors and medical team.

The boy, Flinson Ben Rago was pieced through his stomach and chest when he fell out of tree in Buala last week, causing life-threatening injuries.

As is the practice with life-threatening medical cases in the provinces, the National Referral Hospital requested assistance from RAMSI for an urgent medical evacuation using one of the mission's helicopters.

The Commander of RAMSI's Participating Police Force, Denis McDermott, was happy to help out but when the RAMSI medical team reached Buala last Thursday morning the Flinson was in much worse shape than had been hoped.

As his father later described "his insides were hanging out of his stomach."

During the flight, Flinson's condition got worse and the medical team on the helicopter, Dr Ben Butson and paramedic John Goodfellow, were forced to put a drain into his chest to get rid of the fluid which was threatening to drown him as it filled his lungs.

Flinson was in such a serious state by the time the helicopter landed at RAMSI headquarters GBR, that RAMSI's surgeon, Dr Mike Schaefer, asked Commander McDermott for permission to operate immediately using RAMSI's medical facilities in order to save the boy's life.

Mr McDermott said yesterday that it wasn't a hard decision to make even though medical evacuation cases are normally transferred to the National Referral Hospital not to RAMSI's small medical centre.

"We had a chance to save this little fellow's life so of course I said yes."

Dr Schaefer said he has been amazed at how quickly Flinson, who today was
sitting up in his bed, has been able to recover from such serious injuries.

"This is a very brave young man. He is tough and strong and I am very glad to be able to help with his recovery," Dr Schaefer said yesterday (Monday).

"We operated on him for an hour. We repaired the injuries to his stomach and chest and he is now resting and recovering."

Once Flinson is strong and stable enough he will be transferred to the National Referral Hospital to continue his recovery.

His father and mother, Moffat Maneboro and Joyce Aguara, who have been staying with him at RAMSI headquarters, were very grateful to Dr Shaefer and his team.

"We found Flinson trying to make his own way back home," Mr Maneboro said. "His insides were hanging out of his stomach and he was using a stick to hold himself up."

RAMSI has helped to evacuate more than 30 serious medical cases to Honiara since last October last year, so that badly injured or seriously ill people from all over the Solomon Islands have been able to receive life-saving medical treatment.

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