On This Day in UB History: August 6 (Vicki Snider)

In 1988, Stan and Vicki Snider were UB missionaries living in Mattru, Sierra Leone. On July 6, they rejoiced as Vicki gave birth to a baby girl, Cathryn. But during the week of August 1, Vicki fell ill with fever. The hospital staff kept a very close watch on her. Then, on August 6, Vicki suddenly slipped into a coma.

The next day, a Sunday, Vicki was transported to Freetown, and on Monday a chartered Lear Jet air ambulance flew her to the Netherlands, where she was admitted to the respected Harbour Hospital and Institute for Tropical Medicine in Rotterdam. Just eleven weeks before, UB missionary Patti Stone had died there. Now, the same medical staff who treated Patti now cared for Vicki.

The initial diagnosis was Fulminant Hepatitis A, the same illness that killed Patti. Vicki’s liver was not functioning properly, and doctors feared she wouldn’t survive.

Meanwhile, Christians across the US and Canada prayed for Vicki. Within a few days, reports came of slight improvement. By Tuesday, August 16, Vicki had been moved out of the Intensive Care Unit to her own private room. It was mostly uphill from there. Stan, Vicki, and newborn Cathryn spent five weeks in Rotterdam. On September 11, 1988, they flew back to their home in Toronto.

Stan returned to Sierra Leone in November 1988 to assist with some mechanical problems and stayed for six weeks. The entire family returned to Sierra Leone on March 21, 1989.

Bishop Jerry Datema reported that during the 1989-1993 quadrennium, UB people gave $150,00 to help pay the medical and emergency evacuation costs for Patti Stone and Vicki Snider.

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