172nd Airlift Wing transports children injured by volcano erupti - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

172nd Airlift Wing transports children injured by volcano eruption in Guatemala

Mississippi's elite 172nd Airlift Wing is again called into humanitarian service following the volcanic eruption in Guatemala. Source: U.S. Department of Defense Mississippi's elite 172nd Airlift Wing is again called into humanitarian service following the volcanic eruption in Guatemala. Source: U.S. Department of Defense
The C-17's Purple Heart crew and medical specialists flew to the Central American country to transport children injured during last week's natural disaster. Source: U.S. Department of Defense The C-17's Purple Heart crew and medical specialists flew to the Central American country to transport children injured during last week's natural disaster. Source: U.S. Department of Defense
During this humanitarian mission, Neely led the medical staff transporting six badly burned children for medical treatment in the states. Source: U.S. Department of Defense During this humanitarian mission, Neely led the medical staff transporting six badly burned children for medical treatment in the states. Source: U.S. Department of Defense
They left Jackson Wednesday and landed in the devastated nation at the request of the embassy in Guatemala. U.S. Department of Defense They left Jackson Wednesday and landed in the devastated nation at the request of the embassy in Guatemala. U.S. Department of Defense
Twenty two members of the medical staff were aboard the Jackson based C-17, known worldwide as the Globemaster. Source: U.S. Department of Defense Twenty two members of the medical staff were aboard the Jackson based C-17, known worldwide as the Globemaster. Source: U.S. Department of Defense
FLOWOOD, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Mississippi's elite 172nd Airlift Wing is again called into humanitarian service following the volcanic eruption in Guatemala.

The C-17's Purple Heart crew and medical specialists flew to the Central American country to transport children injured during last week's natural disaster.

"We generated a crew in less than two hours, and were out the door in less than 24," said Lt. Colonel Teri Dawn Neely, USAF who was director of the medical crew.

During this humanitarian mission, Neely led the medical staff transporting six badly burned children for medical treatment in the states.

A burn team, critical care air transport, air vac team and the pilot and crew were on the flight.

"It can be completely empty and we can transport it into a hospital in less than 30 minutes," said the Air Force medical specialist.

They left Jackson Wednesday and landed in the devastated nation at the request of the embassy in Guatemala.

On the ground waiting and thanking them was that country's First Lady Patricia Marroquin Argueta de Morales.

"It was kind of a chaotic mission with these patients," said Neely, "There were six patients ranging in the age from one to 16 years old. They were critical patients. Four of them were intubated and on ventilators".

Twenty two members of the medical staff were aboard the Jackson based C-17, known worldwide as the Globemaster.

Inside, they treated frightened children severely injured by the burning ash.

"Taking care of patients in the air is a lot different than taking care of them on the ground," explained Neely. "So when you have somebody who is compromised that extent and then you put them up in the air and you have things like altitude and temperature because they've lost that critical layer of skin to help with temperature regulation it was a lot going on." 

The military veteran and nurse, as well as crew, are trained to handle all of these things.

Neely and team completed this mission in 24 hours.

"We're bringing them to higher levels of care and we're gonna give them a quality of life hopefully that they wouldn't have had should they have been left there in Guatemala," the medical crew director added.

The children and their guardians were flown to Galveston, Texas where they are being treated at Shriner's Hospitals for Children.

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