Staying Alive

“Mi pilim ai raun” (I’m feeling dizzy)­­­, J said as we loaded him on to the aircraft. That was the telltale sign that his heart was about to stop. Don’t stop yet, I thought as we were now so close to getting him to the lifesaving procedure he desperately needed. J, an educated and athletic … More Staying Alive

Not to Us

I was awoken from a dead sleep by a phone call: “Dokta, mipela nidim yu long A ward. Pikinini i no pulim win.” Translated: “Doctor, we need you in Pediatric ward. A child has stopped breathing.” It was a Saturday morning at 2 a.m. during my third month at Kudjip. I was the only medical … More Not to Us


As I rushed into the emergency room, I faced a chaotic scene. The center bed held the lifeless body of the middle-aged man the nurse had asked me to see. He was the only patient in the ER, but the room was bursting with people and buzzing with noise. The multitude of visitors stretched out … More Unrecognized

Mass Casualty

Like many hospitals in the world, Mondays are typically the busiest here. It makes it even busier when a 25-seat public vehicle carrying 12 passengers and 60 bags of Betel Nut collides with a tractor trailer on a bridge near Kudjip (pictured above). This was an opportunity for our hospital to show its true quality. … More Mass Casualty

Bana Health Center

Bana Health Center lies deep in the heart of East Sepik province in Papua New Guinea. Run by two fantastic nurses, Buckley and his wife, Charity; Bana is the only medical facility for 15,000 people spread across several mountains. (Due to the difficulties in acquiring an accurate census, it’s probably much more than 15,000.) The … More Bana Health Center

Somehow Smiling

Inexplicable radiance. That is how I would describe Moanna in two words. Moanna initially came to Kudjip severely septic from a deeply seeded infection in her femur. (The medical term is osteomyelitis.) Over the course of several tenuous days, we were able to stabilize her. Her life is no longer in grave danger, but the … More Somehow Smiling

Bush Christmas

For me, Christmastime is synonymous with cold weather, extended family gatherings, candlelight Christmas Eve services, and annoying Christmas songs that get stuck in your head. This Sunday our family, along with the MK teachers and a volunteer doctor, had the opportunity to go up into the mountains to celebrate Christmas with Sengen Nazarene Church. It … More Bush Christmas


Not again, I thought, as I felt for a pulse on Sarah, lying unresponsive on the ground. She and her newborn baby had been through so much already and we were almost ready to discharge her. I started CPR knowing the futility (in our setting) of what we were attempting to do. Sarah had originally … More Resilience