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LIFESUPPORT Air Medical Services

(VANCOUVER)​ – A small British Columbia charity is about to give a monumental Christmas gift to expectant mothers in West Africa​—​a fully-outfitted ambulance which will rush women to hospital during their most critical moments of childbirth. The ambulance, which will also be used for transporting and treating neuroscience patients, will be delivered alongside an emergency first responder obstetrics training program for Liberian paramedics, investing in a region where specialized neuroscience and maternal healthcare are virtually non-existent.

“​Right now seven young women die weekly in Liberia because they can’t get to hospital to birth their babies, which also results in the tragic death of the child,” ​says Korle-Bu Neuroscience Foundation founder Marj Ratel. “Pregnant women have almost no support when something goes wrong during childbirth and many die on the roadside trying to reach a hospital. This ambulance is the best Christmas gift I can imagine. ”

The new ambulance is being donated to KBNF by Nanaimo-based international air medical transportation company ​LIFESUPPORT Air Medical Services, Inc.​ In addition to providing the $50,000 ambulance, president Graham Williamson will also create a new obstetrics curriculum to train Liberian first responders and paramedics, which he plans to personally instruct with members of his Critical Care Transport Team while overseas in the New Year.

“We realize the immediate need is to get expectant mothers to the hospital​—​quickly, while also providing frontline training in emergency obstetrical care to the dedicated and fledgling group of new Paramedics in Liberia,” says Williamson, a licensed Canadian Paramedic. “Even if the ambulance cannot transport the patient quickly enough, we will be equipping these dedicated First Responders and Paramedics with the skills they need to help expectant mothers and their newborns right away, by providing critical life saving interventions before arrival at the hospital”.

This ambulance will be the first obstetrics-focused vehicle delivered to Liberia by KBNF. When the charity shipped a previous ambulance to Liberia’s Ministry of Health in February, officials quickly noted the need among pregnant women was alarmingly high.

“More than half of all emergency calls for our ​first ​ambulance were related to obstetrics,” says Ratel. “This service will be miraculous for women who otherwise may die during labour on the side of the road.”

The new ambulance will be transported to Liberia via shipping container​—​alongside an incubator, neurosurgical microscope, and other lifesaving medical supplies​—​thanks to ​Nicola

Wealth,​ which is paying international shipping costs, and ​Diamond Delivery, ​a stalwart partner of KBNF.​ ​However, donations are still critically needed to provide training for West African paramedics and health workers, and allow KBNF to operate into 2020.

“We’re asking Metro Vancouver to step up this holiday and make this Christmas miracle last,” says Marj Ratel. “We are short more than $50,000, which we need to fund our next training mission and transport shipments of supplies to make this ambulance a success.”

Event Details

What: Korle-Bu Neuroscience Foundation will unveil its new ambulance
When: Thursday December 12th, 10:00am
Where: Vancouver General Hospital (Outside the Joseph & Rosalie Segal & Family Health Centre)
Contact: ​Keela Keeping, ​778 245 8915, ​email hidden; JavaScript is required

About Korle-Bu Neuroscience Foundation

Korle-Bu Neuroscience Foundation​ is a BC charity transforming lives by enhancing healthcare in West Africa and beyond, with a special focus on conditions of the brain and spine. Since 2002, KBNF has shipped more than $17 million worth of medical equipment to West Africa, performed hundreds of neurosurgeries for patients with no other hope, and offered training to thousands of healthcare workers on the frontlines. The charity traces its beginnings to Vancouver Coastal Health in 2000, ​when Marj Ratel and three neuro nurses launched a partnership with a West African neurosurgeon aimed at building neuroscience care abroad. Vancouver Coastal Health continues to donate used medical equipment to KBNF, which is shipped to Africa.

About LIFESUPPORT Air Medical Services, Inc.

Based in Nanaimo, British Columbia, LIFESUPPORT Air Medical Services, Inc. is an international air ambulance and emergency medevac firm that provides air ambulance and critical care transport services to the global medical and travel insurance community. LIFESUPPORT Air Medical Services, Inc. provides care and treatment to hundreds of patients each year, on long range missions to every part of the world from their bases in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Frankfurt.

LIFESUPPORT Air Medical Services

LIFESUPPORT Air Medical Services, Inc is an internationally accredited, globally recognized medical air transport and emergency services company, with diversified services, serving multiple sectors, including governments, hospitals and health authorities, the travel & health insurance and financial sectors. Air Ambulance Executive Air Ambulance Commercial Airline Medical Escorts Commercial Airline Repatriation Commercial Airline Stretcher Service.

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