Thoughts from the Family

[Bryan] Sherin’s Airlift to Milwaukee, Wisconsin

At the time of this entry (Friday 3:00am), many of you may have an incomplete account of the events that have transpired since March 16, the day of Sherin’s accident in Managua, Nicaragua. At this point I think it is best to provide an overall general picture and to focus on what is happening in the present.  A more complete picture of events past can come at a later time.

Sherin’s accident occurred while she was viewing some property adjacent to the current office location of the WI-Nicaraguan Partners (Managua).  It was a simple fall from a staircase in which she struck her head directly on concrete. This resulted in very serious trauma to her head, brain and brain stem region. The impact was manifested by an external wound requiring stitches and a short time later, swelling within the skull. She was taken to the best hospital in both Managua and Nicaragua as a whole.  The evening of the day of the accident, surgery was conducted to relieve swelling and to remove fluid.  My understanding is that her condition degraded for multiple reasons which are beyond my ability to explain.

Sherin had been in Nicaragua leading an Eco-Tour group with a secondary purpose to conduct additional business after the tour members returned to WI.  Bob, Sherin’s husband had been part of the tour activity and had also returned to WI with the larger group.  Two members of the group, Tom Ordens and Ken Wiske, had remained in Nicaragua and were with Sherin at the time of the accident.  Tom and Ken are to be commended for their role in handling extremely difficult decisions following the incident and for their gracious willingness to remain in Nicaragua as long as was needed to support Sherin.

Bob was notified of the accident and flew as quickly as possible back to Managua, accompanied by daughter Beth, on Tuesday.  Other children Amy and Bobby also flew on Wednesday from Florida and Minnesota respectively as the situation looked very grave with regard to Sherin’s survival. Bryan (the one writing was booked and scheduled to fly as well on Thursday. As the events of Wednesday night unfolded Bob and children began to pursue the option of airlifting Sherin back to the states. While the staff at Vivian Pellas hospital had done all possible within their means, the family was convinced that bringing Sherin back to the US was the best medical option at hand given the seriousness of the injury.

Brad & Joanne Martin from Whitehall, WI with the help of Beth and Amy in Manauga, orchestrated the dispatch of the Lear medi-vac aircraft from Ft. Lauderdale. The US Embassy and many others smoothed the aircraft entry into Nicaragua airspace, landing and transfer to Vivian Pallas. It was great to see the EMT flight crew collaborate with hospital staff in prepping Sherin for the airlift. After a high speed, traffic dodging trip to the Nicaragua Military ramp the medi-vac jet headed for Houston at 24,000 ft. After a very short fuel stop in Houston it was on to Milwaukee where a waiting ambulance rushed her to St. Lukes for a 11:00 pm arrival. I, Bryan, was at the hospital when the ambulance arrived. I cannot explain my feelings as the back of the ambulance opened and I saw my mother lying on the stretcher with Dad faithfully at her side. He was the picture of both compassion and composure yet worn with the evidence of the 3 day vigil and airlift.

We accompanied mom to the ICU neurology unit on the 1st floor of St. Luke’s Hospital in Milwaukee.  It was a fast paced, sobering walk as they brought mom into the ICU. At that point the ICU team took over the admissions process and tests that would provide a baseline for the medical staff evaluation. It was expected that by 9:00 am Friday morning an initial consultation with the Doctors would share the prognosis for what we might expect.

Beth and Dad have been sleeping for a few hours approaching 6:00am. Amy is presently driving up from Chicago where she arrived late Thursday night. Bobby is still in Managua and hopefully will fly out on Friday (don’t know the details).

At this point I need to end.  More will be posted as information comes available.  Thank you for the constant prayer on behalf of Sherin and family.  We also pray for all of you, who have concern in this matter.  The Lord God, creator and giver of life can be fully trusted in these events; even the smallest concerns of our daily lives.

God’s blessing be with you all,

Bryan Bowen (son of Sherin and Bob)