By Puerto Rico National GuardSeptember 25, 2019
SAN JUAN, PR, - Puerto Rico National Guard responded to a request for support from the municipality of Vieques to provide airlift for a newborn patient to the University of Puerto Rico Hospital in Carolina.
The patient, a 28-day-old baby, presented complex symptoms which required medical care that he could not receive on the island municipality. In the face of the imminent arrival of Tropical Storm Karen, air medical transport services were not available and moving the baby by sea was not feasible, as the conditions did not allow for safe navigation in the area.
This situation came to the Puerto Rico Health Department, who contacted the Emergency Management and Disaster Administration Bureau to assign a flight mission to the Puerto Rico National Guard under state activation (Executive Order 2019-049) for the purpose of transporting the baby, their relatives and the necessary medical personnel.
"If our service has been a factor in saving a life, we have done our job," said the Adjutant General of Puerto Rico, Major General José J. Reyes. "At the moment there are thousands of men and women on alert and waiting to be called to serve our people. That is our reason for being and it is what fills us with honor: to serve our people and to be 'Always Present'."
After rigorous safety assessments, the PRNG dispatched an aircraft, a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter, which picked up the infant, transporting him to the grounds of the Roberto Clemente Walker Stadium in Carolina, from where he was taken by ambulance to the UPR Hospital in Carolina.