Surgeon Lieutenant Commander Andy Matheson is the Regimental Medical Officer (RMO) deployed with Alpha Company, 40 Commando Royal Marines to the British Virgin Islands.
The Barnstable based Royal Navy Commando, of Commando Logistic Regiment, deployed with an organic team of one paramedic and four Medical Assistants. As well as providing medical support to Alpha Company, the team is busy engaging with the capital’s hospital, Peebles, and giving medical care where it is needed.
Marine Kieran Stubbings, a Medical Assistant with Alpha Company has already treated many locals on the Island.
He said, “We have seen numerous local patients with wounds varying from cuts and bruising to serious limb lacerations”
The team have a treatment room set up in the police station with equipment ranging from emergency lifesaving defibrillator to wound dressings and pain relief.
Marine Stubbings continued, “This is my first time supporting a disaster relief operation and being here in a medical role is incredibly rewarding.”
Surgeon Lieutenant Commander Matheson has visited the hospital on many occasions to examine the facilities, liaise with local health care professionals and assess the need for medical supplies. He explained of the impressive resilience and hard work of the hospital staff.
Surgeon Lieutenant Commander Matheson said, “I examined the Intensive Therapy Unit (ITU) only days after hurricane Irma hit it was functioning, clean and comparable to a UK hospital unit. They’re doing a fantastic job and well will continue to support in whatever capacity we can”.
RFA Mounts Bay has already played a crucial role in providing support to the hospital too. With the water supply cut off after hurricane Irma, the pure water needed for the Dialysis Unit was affected leaving the 52 patients who rely on dialysis incredibly vulnerable. RFA Mounts Bay was able to temporarily supply the hospital with pure water to allow the unit to continue its vital treatment.