ON March 16, 2021, the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Kimball contacted the U.S. Consular Agent in Honiara to say a crewman on board was ill with a suspected inflamed appendix and asked for urgent medical assistance from the Solomon Islands government.
Thanks to quick efforts by government officials, the crew member, who received the Pfizer vaccine in the United States prior to deployment, was admitted to the country following a risk assessment.
He was rapidly transferred from the ship into the care of the medical professionals at the National Referral Hospital.
After doctors recommended removing the appendix, the medical team quickly mobilized and flawlessly performed the operation.
It is believed to be the first time since World War II that an American military member has undergone surgery in Solomon Islands.
“We often speak about the enduring relationship between our two nations and this past week demonstrated the true strength of our partnership,” said U.S. Ambassador to Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu Erin E. McKee.
“On behalf of the United States government, please accept our sincere thanks for the tremendous support from the Solomon Islands government and the entire medical team at the National Referral Hospital.
“Now, as in the past, we are grateful for extraordinary partnership between the United States and Solomon Islands.”
On Thursday, March 25, the patient left Honiara on a U.S. military C-130 aircraft and returned to his home state of Hawaii to complete his recovery.