Spirit of America’s donation of wheelchairs to the 2019 USNS Comfort Mission greatly contributed to the success of the mission. The donated wheelchairs were used to help transport patients to and from the ship, and were given to patients who couldn’t walk after undergoing surgery. The wheelchairs have already been used in St. Lucia, St. Kitts and the Dominican Republic and will also be used in Jamaica in the coming weeks.
In the Dominican Republic, the Comfort treated over 6,000 people, of which 112 people needed surgery. In St. Lucia, the Comfort treated almost 5,000 people, of which 79 underwent surgery. Without Spirit of America’s wheelchair donation, many of the people who had surgery wouldn’t have been able to properly recover and could have suffered post-surgery complications. Furthermore, the Comfort team gave additional wheelchairs to individuals who desperately needed them due to pre-existing conditions, which resulted in their quality of life greatly improving.
Spirit of America’s donation of 100 wheelchairs created trusted relationships between the US Navy sailors and the local communities they visited on Comfort’s 5-month deployment, reinforcing that the United States is a trusted neighbor who can be counted on when help is needed most.