Lucy John, mother of three, is from the village of Wabo in the lowlands of Gulf Province. This lowland region is home to the death adder – a highly venomous snake.
Mrs John and her husband were completing their day’s tasks when she was bitten.Her husband, Iksy John, knew her life was in grave danger and that an antivenom dose was the only way to save her. He also knew that the antivenom could be found at the Oil Search seismic base camp, located on the river bank some 40km away.
With no time to lose, he carried her to a motorised canoe and travelled at nightfall, through bad weather, to the seismic camp.
The couple were met by Oil Search’s medical doctor, Dr Robert Imambu. The medical team quickly stabilised Mrs John with an antivenom infusion and monitored her progress throughout the evening. She made a full recovery by the next morning and was discharged from the seismic crew clinic.
The company’s Community Affairs team then supplied fuel for the family’s trip home.
“If Oil Search wasn’t here, I would have lost my wife, and this would be devastating for my children and I. Thank you very much,” said Mr John.
The Oil Search seismic team has now saved the life of three snake bite victims from the Wabo area. Antivenom is costly (about K20,000 per dosage) and needs special cool storage, so is typically not available in remote clinics.