Member Moment: Hannah’s Remote Alaskan Story

Dec 27, 2023

Reading time: 4 Minutes

Bush plane over snowy Alaskan mountains

An eight-hour drive to the nearest hospital could be inconvenient under regular circumstances. But during Hannah Rowland’s major postpartum hemorrhage, it proved life-threatening.


Living in a remote location might present challenges for some people — but not the Rowland family. They’ve learned to adapt and thrive in their Alaskan home by strategically planning ahead and making the most of every trip to town.


Hannah says, “We live in a rural area that has no hospitals, no medical clinic, no family doctor. There’s not even a grocery store open this time of year around here. It’s a very small community.”


The Rowlands joined Medi-Share soon after getting married. Hannah’s husband was self-employed, and they both were students, so there was no traditional benefits package available to them. Hannah’s in-laws recommended Medi-Share, and when they looked into it, the young couple appreciated the low cost when compared to traditional health insurance plans.


When Hannah became pregnant with their first child in 2019, that was also the first significant test of their Medi-Share plan. She was pleased with the sharing of maternity costs; everything seemed to be going smoothly.


Still, their home’s distance from the hospital presented a practical problem. Hannah made plans to spend the final weeks of her pregnancy closer to the hospital. “I spent a month away because you don’t know exactly when the baby’s coming. So you can’t just plan to go the day before. Plus, it’s very uncomfortable to sit in a vehicle for eight hours when you’re pregnant.”


Thankfully, the delivery went well. Hannah was discharged and went home with her newborn a few days after birth. But after arriving back to their remote property, Hannah noticed she was bleeding quite heavily. She called her medical professionals, and they assumed that it was due to the jostling of the long drive. Under other circumstances, they may have wanted her to come in for an exam, but when weighed against such a distance, the bleeding didn’t seem critical. No one knew it was actually a warning sign.


Around seven weeks postpartum, Hannah sat down to nurse her baby. “I felt this rush within me, and I started hemorrhaging,” she says. “I was at home by myself, but thankfully I was able to call my husband.”


A few hectic hours later, Hannah found herself on a medical plane (like an air ambulance) being rushed to the hospital. Because of her rapid blood loss, Hannah’s legs had to be put in tourniquet. That would keep what little blood she had left in her vital organs and brain, but of course, her limbs were then put at major risk and she was subjected to serious pain.


“It was awful,” Hannah says. “To this day, I have to remind myself it is a privilege to be walking on my legs.”


Once the medical plane reached cruising altitude, Hannah was able to be outfitted with an IV and eventually have the tourniquets removed when she stabilized. Looking back, she remembers that there were other options discussed during the chaos, like a smaller commuter plane. But if any other transportation was used, the outcome could have been so much worse for Hannah.


“The medical plane, it was really what was needed, and Medi-Share really helped in sharing in the cost of that medical plane to pick me up. It saved my life,” Hannah said.


Once at the hospital, doctors determined that Hannah had some placenta left in her womb. With proper care, the issue was resolved and the bleeding stopped. The Rowlands praise the Lord for His grace and care on display over Hannah in those days.


When Hannah became pregnant with their second child a few years later, there was additional hemorrhaging that has yet to be understood by her medical professionals. Thankfully, they were able to watch her more closely and avoid a medical flight situation, but there’s still a bit of a question mark over Hannah’s health in regards to bearing children.

Rowland Family


Still, Hannah and her husband are grateful that in such a time of need, their Medi-Share community was able to assist financially. “We’re not having to pay our way out of that life-saving flight,” she says. “We can move past it.”


At Medi-Share we’re always in awe when we hear of the Lord’s protection over our members. During traumatic medical events like Hannah’s, it’s nice to know that our community is there to share in the financial burden, share in prayer — and now share in giving praise!


If you’d like to share in more of Hannah’s story, check out a book she wrote while in recovery, “On the Way to the Outhouse.”


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