Yesterday we were doing the anchor drills in Mayaquez Bay and faced a problem that has plagued seafarers for centuries - illness at sea. The Kennedy crews up a full medical professional staff, but even with this team of skilled people, when someone becomes ill they cannot always cure the patient. Friday night I was alerted to a probable case of appendicitis in a 4/C cadet. This is one illness that must be solved with a surgical procedure. Although the ill cadet was not showing definitive signs our close proximately to land and a hospital dictated we get him ashore for definitive evaluation.
After being granted approval by Customs and Border protection we contacted the
hospital emergency medical department. About 1330 we launched the fast rescue
boat and transported the cadet and our paramedic ashore. They were met ashore
by a driver arranged through our shipping agency Perez y Cia in San Juan. As
of the last report the tests were positive and the cadet will have surgery.
I believe that excellent professional medical evaluation and treatment by our
Sick Bay staff deserves significant credit - but also the crew of our rescue
boat - and our contacts ashore made this potentially life-threatening situation
seem to be routine. But medical are anything but routine. My personal thanks to
all the cadets involved, from the medical corpsmen to the launching and boat
crews. I am purposely avoiding mentioning any particular people in this acknowledgement - there are many, many people involved.
We'll be in Mayaquez Bay again today - we'll be very close to make sure the
cadet is well taken care of, and that his parents are well informed.