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Three Tanzanian bus crash survivors flown to Sioux City

Three Tanzanian bus crash survivors flown to Sioux City

It was a scene no one would want to see.

A bus in Tanzania, filled with 35 children and three adults, in a ravine...it had been in a major accident.

"And the typical response would be, not my problem," Doctor Steve Meyer, STEMM's Board President, said, "not my issue, not my country."

But for three individuals, Jennifer Milby, Kevin Negaard and Manda Volkers, they chose the atypical response.

"My first thought was," Milby said, "there's people in that bus, we have to help."

Going into the ravine, they came across 36 dead, but they kept searching with several Tanzanians already on scene.

"These two," Meyer said, "plus Manda Volkers from Ponca, waited through the carnage, to find three with a heart beat."

Three young heart beats, from three 7th graders, Wilson, Doreen, and Sadia, the only survivors.

The three suffered nearly 20 fractures overall despite all the odds against them, survived the accident.

"These are sharp, bright kids who represent the future of Tanzania," Negaard said.

The African country mourned the tragedy, and Meyer got to work to try and get these kids to Sioux City to receive further medical treatment.

"I'm not going to sleep until I've done everything I can so at the end of the day, like even if it doesn't happen," Meyer said, "I can't look back and say I wish I made one more phone call."

He spoke with the state department, and with Senator Joni Ernst and Congressman Steve King, who was actually able to get the request all the way to Vice President Mike Pence.

After that fell through, A Christian Organization known as Samaritan's Purse, stepped up to the plate, providing the transportation for the three and their mothers.

And just after two this afternoon, a plane carrying one of the kids, touched down in Siouxland.

"Everything," Mibly said, "one thing after another was a God thing. I'm very thankful for these kids that everything has turned out the way it has."

"Boy when you feel that whisper," said Negaard, "that nudge from God, listen and act because what you get to experience is unbelievable."

The other two children arrived in Sioux City shortly after 4 Monday afternoon.

Siouxland- Tanzania Educational Medical Ministries group has set up a GoFundMe page to help the families.

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