Continuing Promise 2010 Brings Relief to Nicaraguan Family

Story Number: NNS100928-08Release Date: 9/28/2010 1:34:00 PM
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From Continuing Promise 2010 Public Affairs

CORN ISLAND, Nicaragua (NNS) -- Fleet Surgical Team (FST) and Planning Operations and Medical Intelligence (POMI) Continuing Promise 2010 (CP10) members brought relief to a local family Sept. 19 while conducting advance team support for the CP10 mission in Bluefields and Corn Island, Nicaragua.

The team assisted a mother and her children who were recently impacted when their Corn Island home was destroyed by fire.

"In the short time it took the mother of three to go to the store for bread, a fire started at her home where her children were sleeping," said Lt. Janette Arencibea, FST POMI CP10 planner. "A gas tank exploded, and the eldest of the three children hurriedly rushed to rescue his younger siblings resulting in burns to over thirty percent of his body. He was only able to save one of his younger brothers. As word spread of the family in need, we were eager to assist."

A visit by CP10 personnel to the home that was destroyed resulted in a lesson about a community of people who came to the need of a destitute mother.

Lt. Jason Holbrook, Maritime Civil Affairs and Security Training Command, said a visit to the extended family of the victims by CP10 personnel, resulted in a lesson about a community of people who came to the need of a destitute mother.

"What we learned was a heart warming lesson in community support," said Holbrook. "While it is a wonderful opportunity to fill a void or meet the needs of people who experience destitute, the team from USS Iwo Jima learned much from the people of Corn Island who came together and were able to say 'we're doing everything we can to make it better for the family's return'."

When the fire broke out, a relative near the home responded with one of a few fire extinguishers on the island. She retrieved the oldest child in time to treat serious burns with egg whites and butter; the only therapy immediately available. The child was transported to the hospital at Corn Island where Nicaraguan doctors arranged for an immediate flight to Managua.

At Corn Island, family members were able to care for the surviving child, allowing the mother to escort her son for treatment to Managua. While the mother and son were gone, the people of Corn Island worked together to donate time, food, clothing and building supplies to the family. The mayor purchased materials for a foundation and roof for a new home. Men who volunteered from the local community constructed a new home while women delivered meals to them on the job site.

In just a few days, CP10 personnel said the new structure quickly came to life and resembled a home, and they expected it to be complete by the time the mother and her son return to Corn Island in the next three weeks.

The local family members have been able to talk with the boy in Managua who is undergoing treatment for his burns, now nine percent down from 30 percent of his body.

"He is doing very well," said Kerry Morgan, a cousin to the mother. "All he wants to do is play baseball with his uncle when he gets back."

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