Timely Surgery Saves a Girls Life
By Dialogo November 26, 2008Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Gina Wollman, Continuing Promise Public Affairs GEORGETOWN, Guyana – Pilots from Marine Heavy Helicopter (HMH) Squadron 464, currently embarked aboard USS Kearsarge (LHD 3), rendered emergency transport assistance at Kumaka District Hospital in Santa Rosa Nov. 18 to a young girl suffering from appendicitis. Fifteen-year-old, Shellon Abrams, from Moruca, Guyana, was transported by military air lift from Santa Rosa to St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Georgetown to receive emergency surgery for a ruptured appendix. “When we got to the hospital here they gave her further testing and we found out that her appendix was ruptured,” said Sherwin Abrams, Shellon’s brother. Abram’s was prepped for surgery immediately. “She was very scared when she found out she would need surgery,” said Dr. Surendra Persaud, general surgeon at St Joseph’s. “The nurses did what they could to help; they held her hand and tried their best to comfort her.” After an hour in the operating room, Abram’s was moved into recovery where family could check in on her. “Before and during the surgery I was very anxious,” said Sherwin. “After she came out I was so thrilled to see that everything went well. She was still in a little pain, but I could tell she was feeling much better just by looking at her.” Though there is a medical system in place in Moruca, Abram’s treatment would have been much more difficult to receive if not for the help of the Continuing Promise team. “The Continuing Promise medical team was a great help,” said Persaud. “If Shellon was not brought here by the American helicopters, she would have been forced to come by boat. That would have taken a lot more time and her condition would have become much worse.” Sherwin knows his sister was lucky to receive the treatment in such a timely manner. “I want to thank everyone involved in my sister’s treatment,” he said. “The American military and all of the doctors, everyone was very professional. Now we can go home with no worries about her health.” Still weak from the surgery, Abrams was able to say one thing. “The helicopter ride was fun, and I am really looking forward to going home.” Kearsarge’s CP mission is to conduct civil-military operations including humanitarian and civic assistance as well as veterinary, medical, dental and civil engineering support to six partner nations and to send a strong message of U.S. compassion, support and commitment to Central and South America and the Caribbean. USS Kearsarge is under the operational control of U.S. 4th Fleet. U.S. 4th Fleet’s mission is to direct United States naval forces operating in the Caribbean, and Central and South American regions and interact with partner nation navies to shape maritime environment. The CP Caribbean Phase is the second of two HCA deployments to the Southern Command area of focus for 2008. The first CP deployment was conducted by USS Boxer (LHD 4) in the Pacific. When Kearsarge departs Guyana, they will begin transit back to their homeport in Norfolk, Va. For more news on Continuing Promise, visit U.S. Southern Command’s Web site at www.southcom.mil.