Medical organizations travel to the Bahamas with supplies to replenish depleted hospital

FREEPORT, Bahamas (WSVN) — As recovery efforts continue in the Bahamas, the list of what is needed is growing.

In Freeport right now, one of the greater needs is medical supplies.

The only hospital in town, Rand Memorial Hospital, was under five feet of water, and they need almost everything.

Baptist Health and Reva Air Ambulance answered the call and flew to Freeport Monday with medicine.

“They have a warehouse that supplies all the Bahamas, and they’re completely depleted at this time,” said Sylvie Brealey of Reva Air Ambulance.

Flight physicians Sylvie Brealey and Steve Williams took a trip to the Bahamas via Reva Air Ambulance’s jet.

They landed and unloaded the supplies in less than 20 minutes.

The crew unloaded boxes filled with medical supplies from Baptist Health. In it, there were antibiotics, IV’s and other supplies that the hospital was running out of.

“The key is to make sure that it’s coordinated with the National Emergency Management Agency in the Bahamas,” said Williams. “You can’t just throw stuff at a disaster, you really have to have it coordinated.”

The images as the crew left the airport were familiar. There were piles of water and lines of families who needed help, waiting for hours for supplies.

There is gas on the island, but that has created more long lines by both car and foot.

After a short drive, the crew arrived at Rand Memorial hospital in Freeport, which was operating off of generator power.

They are able to treat their patients, but how long they will be able to continue to do so remains unknown.

Since Rand Memorial Hospital was under five feet of water, their electrical system was shot.

The only hospital in town will be down for months.

A new one is being built across the street.

“They’ve asked us for what is called a tier two field hospital,” said Kelly Sutter, a nurse with Samaritan’s Purse.

In just two days, Samaritan’s Purse turned an empty field into an inflatable hospital, and they’re going to be busy.

“They’re still seeing some trauma, some orthopedic stuff, a lot of lacerations, a lot of increase in chronic disease because people have lost medications,” said Sutter.

The medical group will be working in the Bahamas for months, but the state-of-the-art medicine they brought with them will remain.

Since there is no power, the airport closes as soon as it gets dark.

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