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Bucks nurses help stranded Brits

Two nurses flew to Mexico to help

Published by Scarlett Bawden-Gaul at 5:44am 24th April 2020. 4-minute read.

Bucks nurses help stranded Brits

Stranded Brits have been helped home by two Buckinghamshire Nurses.

Two Buckinghamshire Trust nurses have been praised after they flew to Mexico to makie sure stranded Brits could come home. 

After being hit by coronavirus, 46 passengers of the Marella Explorer 2 cruise ship found themselves stranded in the Caribbean for more than three weeks.

Healthy passengers had already disembarked, but those remaining were mostly elderly and all either showed symptoms of the virus or had to isolate while being supported by Tui's medical team.

Eventually, arrangements were made with the Mexican government to fly these passengers home to Britain. But to do that, two more nurses were needed to join the flight.

TUI-Plane
The nurses worked with TUI to bring the Brits home

When private emergency repatriation companies were unable to support, Alexandra, a Community Staff Nurse, was approached by a personal connection at Tui.

Quickly agreeing to help, she asked Victoria, an Advanced Community Practitioner District Nurse, if she would be willing to join her. Two days later, on 29 March, the pair boarded a flight from Gatwick to Mexico.

After a 48 hour delay on their arrival, the stranded passengers' flight home finally got the go-ahead to depart. Alexandra and Victoria joined the cruise ship's doctor and nurse on board the plane to first discuss the cases of their new patients to ensure they got the right care.

Alexandra said:

"The majority of passengers were incredibly distressed from their experience of being confined to the their cabins for so long, so a large part of our job was to comfort everyone on board the plane and assure them we would take good care of them.

"It was an absolutely unforgettable experience and one I will remember for the rest of my life."

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On the return flight, the medical team's main challenge was to keep people's symptoms under control, but some passengers needed more urgent medical attention. Thankfully, they got the help they needed and everyone reached home safely.

Victoria said:

"We have had an amazing experience that was very impacting on us and the fabulous crew we worked with - we all cried a little when the passengers finally boarded.  

"Tui looked after us so well and we were very happy to help. It feels like an honour for us."

We asked Victoria how they're doing at the moment:

Marc Jordan, Group Director of Tui, added:

"Throughout this ordeal, with delay and uncertainty, your nurses, as the whole NHS does, made us proud with their professionalism and dedication. 

"They went above and beyond, working with our crew on board the aircraft to ensure the returning passengers were safe and looked after. Their medical expertise was required and our flight captain and crew were so very pleased to have them on board."

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