Monday, August 18, 2008


A day of rest but not for the weary and the determined; it was business as usual, treating and screening those in need, and we are most fortunate to be able to show compassion on this day. Many of the goals we have set before us continue to be realized and this morning the last of our first two patients medically treated [ophthalmology] onboard Kearsarge, departed with not only clear and improved vision but a new outlook on life…one that I believe be favorable to our Country’s effort.

Although an Amphibious Landing Ship, USS Kearsarge is second only to the Navy's ready-reserve hospital ships USNS COMFORT and USNS MERCY in medical and dental support capability. Equipped with, 10 operating rooms- 4 main, 2 emergency and 4 dental operating rooms, X-ray facilities, a blood bank, pharmacy, laboratories, and Intensive Care ward facilities, she is very capable and almost designed with these types of operations in mind. To date, medically, we have rendered services to 14,902 patients, treated 4,125 patients ashore and 5 on board, dispensed over 6,000 medicines, treated over 300 livestock and animals and conducted over 2,000 medical training sessions with over 2,800 students. Engineering projects; we are in the process of seven projects in five different areas, including building and restoring school houses, office buildings, and parks. We have also delivered hundred of pallets of food, supplies and material to Nicaraguan citizens and donated a sonogram, endoscopy and EKG machines with training on operating and maintaining. Our first two patients successfully treated onboard were a 60 year old woman for cataract removal and a 12 year old boy for a removal of a growth on his eye, and 3 embarked patients today for medical treatment tomorrow. The doctors treat each patient with amazing care and thankfully we have a handful of Spanish speakers who work within the medical department that extend their language skills to ensure their stay was comfortable and all their needs were met and satisfied. And by the way, they are allowed to bring a family member or a friend for comfort.

Tomorrow we will receive Nicaraguan Media aboard and we look forward to the opportunity to welcome them and introduce them to the tremendous crew as well as give them a tour of this most capable vessel. Next week will be the final week of a two week mission. And we are on track to meet and exceed all expectations…and NOT our own.

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