Urlings fisherman returns after treatment in Guadeloupe, while Hurst claims repairs to hyperbaric chamber will be done soon

The Urlings fisherman who was flown to Guadeloupe for medical treatment last week is now recovering at home and undergoing rehabilitation.

Ruan Roberts was airlifted to the University Hospital of Guadeloupe, by CalvinAir Helicopters, while suffering decompression sickness, commonly known as “the bends.”

St. Mary’s South MP Kelvin “Shugy” Simon had initially contacted the Calvin Ayre Foundation on Roberts’s behalf.  Reports say he reached out to the foundation again, over the weekend, to request assistance in getting Roberts back home.

Accordingly, the company picked up Roberts late Saturday afternoon, April 22, right after he had completed the last round of treatment.

Reportedly, Roberts’ case had been given special consideration, since there was no available return flight before May 1, and remaining at the facility until then would have resulted in hefty hospital fees.

Although still experiencing fatigue in his limbs, the Urlings fisherman has said he is glad to be back home and has expressed gratitude to the Foundation and CalvinAir Helicopters for their swift intervention.

Simon says he has since been in contact with his constituent, and he can confirm that Roberts is on the road to recovery.

The MP again thanked the Foundation for its critical emergency response service, noting that this type of emergency situation is costly, and patients do not always have the necessary funds.

“So, having a reliable Foundation that we can call on in times of emergency is a really good thing,” Simon says.

The Foundation’s media relations specialist, Jermilla Kirwan, wishes Roberts a speedy recovery and says the Foundation will continue to play its role in the areas of medical emergenc;y education and sports; and social development.

Meanwhile, Government Spokesman Lionel Hurst said recently that he is not sure when a hyperbaric chamber – donated by the Calvin Ayre Foundation in 2018 – will be functional.

The equipment was officially handed over to the Ministry of Health after the death of a local fisherman and diver, Andy Samuel, in 2017.  Samuel had been afflicted with decompression sickness.

Reportedly, the chamber has not been operable for several years, and needs recalibration before it can be used safely.  

Hurst claims that an expert technician should be traveling to Antigua shortly to repair the hyperbaric chamber, after having been delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.