Barbudan woman celebrates 90th birthday a week after emergency airlift

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Ramona Joseph was airlifted to hospital last week
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A Barbudan woman, who was airlifted to hospital in Antigua last week after developing a serious medical condition which required surgery, has been celebrating her 90th birthday after recovering at home.

Ramona Joseph, who turned 90 on Wednesday, is the mother of popular Barbudan Calypsonian, Ordrick “King Montgomery” Samuel.

Joseph was flown to the Sir Lester Bird Medical Centre (SLBMC) by CalvinAir Helicopters on November 10, after doctors on the sister isle determined that her condition required further intervention by a medical team in Antigua.

According to Samuel, his mother had received a cut on one of her toes some time ago while gardening. The toe, he said, became infected and she had been complaining for some time about the pain. It was when one of her toes started to become discoloured, he became alarmed and sought medical attention at the Hanna Thomas Hospital.

Fortunately, Joseph was able to have a successful surgery at SLBMC for her condition, which had the possibility of causing further health issues.

The Calvin Ayre Foundation, with the assistance of CalvinAir Helicopters, sent a birthday bouquet to the sister isle to help brighten Joseph’s special day.

Jamilla Kirwan, Ayre Group Media Relations Specialist, told her, “We are very happy to have been able to play our role in getting you to the hospital for your emergency procedure. We are also happy that the procedure was successful and so, we’re celebrating your 90th with you. Happy birthday and a speedy recovery.”

According to Kirwan, although CAH operates a commercial business, the decision to contribute flight time free of cost to emergency airlift patients was made by Ayre Group Chairman, Ambassador Calvin Ayre, under the mandate of giving back to the twin island nation.

“The emergency flights which would commercially cost US$2,000 are paid for by the Calvin Ayre Foundation (CAF). The Foundation also covers the cost for any search and rescue operations,” Kirwan added.

This was the eighth medical emergency airlift the company has provided since commencing operations in November 2020.

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