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LLUH School of Medicine Graduate Saves Fellow Passenger on Flight to Zurich — and More News Shorts


LLUH School of Medicine 2018 Graduate Saves Fellow Passenger on Flight to Zurich. Dean LaBarba, who had just finished at Loma Linda University School of Medicine, was on a 12-hour flight from Zurich to Los Angeles with his wife last month when a female passenger sitting close to them said that she didn’t feel well. Before she could get up to use the restroom, she collapsed. LaBarba immediately rushed to the woman’s side only to find that she did not have a pulse. He tried massaging her sternum as a means of improving blood flow to no avail. With the help of another passenger, he had the woman lie across a row of seats so he could begin chest compressions. After six pushes, she started to regain consciousness. “I remained at her side continually checking on her and asking if she felt any abdominal pain, chest pain, nausea or leg cramps,” LaBarba said. “It’s hard to say what happened in those 15 seconds after she collapsed, but I think she may have experienced a syncope episode. A syncope episode is when someone faints as a result of a drop in heart rate or blood pressure. Though the woman was shaken, she made it through the following 10 hours of the flight without any incident. The passenger expressed her extreme gratitude toward LaBarba, who happened to be the only physician on board the 300-person flight that day. He says that the experience confirmed his “calling and desire to help people.” From Good News Network, “One Month After Med School, He Was the Only Doctor Aboard Overseas Flight to Save Woman’s Life.”

Lawsuit Filed Against the Central California Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Regarding Child Molestation by Former Teacher at Fresno Adventist Academy. Alleged child molestation by Chris Bispham, a former teacher at Fresno Adventist Academy, has led to a lawsuit targeting the Seventh-day Adventist Church. A new lawsuit says the school never should have hired Bispham and that the Central California Conference of Seventh-day Adventists could have prevented the abuse. It says Bispham came to the Fresno school after another Adventist school in Tennessee fired him for drunk driving—a conviction Action News found online. The lawsuit also hints at possible sexual misconduct by Bispham when he was in Tennessee. The lawsuit also claims a pastor with the Adventist church in Clovis, who was also Bispham’s pastor in Tennessee, secretly tipped him off as police investigated the case. “These are very serious [charges],” said legal analyst Tony Capozzi. “There’s no question about it. This is child molesting that allegedly took place over at least a four-year period.” Cindy Chamberlin, the vice president for communication for the Central California Conference of Seventh-day Adventists responded, “While we cannot comment on the substance of currently pending litigation, we wish to take this opportunity to reaffirm that our children and youth are our most precious resource and their safety is of paramount importance to us.” From ABC30 Action News, “Lawsuit says Adventist church should’ve prevented teacher’s sex abuse.”

Malawi Central Church Conducts a Two-day Health Expo for Members of Parliament. The Seventh-day Adventist Central Church in collaboration with Department of Health and Personal Ministries conducted a two-day Health Expo for Members of Parliament and staffs on making choices in life concerning their health life style at the parliament building in Lilongwe, Malawi. Speaking during the expo under the theme “Your Well-being, Our Concern,” General Surgeon at Adventist Health Center, Greg Saunders, M.D., said it was important that Members of Parliament and Staff are made aware of the risk factors they may have regarding lifestyle related diseases. “This is an opportunity for them to make changes and make modifications to their life style in terms of what they eat, how they exercise, how they sleep and different aspects of their health life.” According to Saunders, health-related diseases are increasing in Africa, and for this reason, health knowledge and motivation help improve the development of the country. Peter Kumpalume, Member of Parliament for Blantyre West, highlighted the expo’s momentous impact noting that it opened their eyes to various aspects of human well-being. “Our health depends on a number of aspects which include doing exercises, eating good food, being at peace, and others. So a health score is important because it tells you the kind of areas you need to improve on.” Pempho Kamwendo, Personal Ministries Leader at Lilongwe SDA Central Church, said the event was organized as part of a strategy this year to reach out to the communities not only for health but also for spirituality. From Nyasa Times, “Seventh Day Adventist Church conducts health expo for MPs.”

SDA Man Guilty of Raping His Live-in Girlfriend. A “preacher” in New Zealand found guilty of violent rape and abuse continued to plead his innocence at his sentencing, claiming he had been discredited by police. Teina Toru was sentenced to 12 years and nine months in prison when he appeared before Justice Robert Dobson in the High Court at New Plymouth. Toru, a practicing Seventh-day Adventist, and the accusing woman, a former Jehovah Witness, lived together in Taranaki and would often have disagreements about religion. While giving evidence, the woman described Toru as a preacher and told of how he often counseled others online with Bible scriptures. In a video police statement shared in court, the victim recounted the rapes in detail. “He was saying he was the man of the house and I was to submit to him and not speak,” she said in the video. While the woman gave a full account of the violence and rapes during her police interview, she was reluctant to give evidence in court. From Stuff, “‘Preacher’ protests his innocence as he is jailed for sex crimes.”


Pam Dietrich taught English at Loma Linda Academy for 26 years and served there eight more years as the 7-12 librarian. She lives in Redlands, California.

Photo by Dominik Scythe on Unsplash


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