Tragic death of beloved islander has San Pedranos demanding better health services
Tuesday, October 11th, 2022
The sudden death of islander Alexander Morris shocked his friends and relatives in the early hours of Monday, October 10th. Morris suffered a terrible accident and needed to be airlifted to Belize City for emergency medical attention. However, due to inclement weather, the transfer was delayed. Morris’s condition deteriorated, and he passed away, waiting for emergency care. Family and friends were devastated and now call on respective authorities to better equip the island’s medical center to avoid these tragedies.
According to them, Morris’s life could have been saved if he had been treated immediately on the island. For this reason, many who knew Morris feel hurt and angry. They believe he did not have to die and could have been recovering if proper attention had been available. While there is no official report from authorities, witnesses say Morris had been doing some work north of San Pedro Town on Sunday evening. Unofficial reports indicate that it started to rain after he finished working and was heading home. He was reportedly found by a couple driving north, and according to witnesses, the steering wheel from his golf cart was missing, and Morris did not seem to be doing well. An ambulance was called, and he was transported to Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II.
Morris was reportedly admitted after 10PM to the polyclinic after being transported by the Rickilee Response and Rescue team. According to the team at the polyclinic, he had some scrapes, was not fully conscious, and was experiencing high blood pressure. Morris’s condition was reportedly unstable, with signs that he could become critical. As such, he was prepared to be airlifted to Belize City. However, the inclement weather caused by the remnants of Hurricane Julia made it difficult for an air medical evacuation. His condition did not improve, and after 2AM, his reportedly worsened and eventually passed in the early hours of Monday.
The cause of death will be determined after a post-mortem examination is conducted on the body. Morris is survived by two children, a wife, other relatives, and a host of friends.
A hospital for the island
Those close to Morris continue to mourn the loss of a father, a friend, and a hard-working islander. They continue to believe that if the island had a hospital or better-equipped health center, patients like Morris would not need to be airlifted to the mainland, and lives could be saved.
While San Pedro has been waiting for a hospital for decades, Area Representative, the Honourable Andre Perez, pledged to deliver on this much-needed infrastructure on the island. Perez maintains that a ground-breaking for the hospital will take place in early 2023. He also confirmed that monies for the hospital were secured through a $33 million grant from the Republic of China (Taiwan).
According to the Area Representative, the health project will be a 45-bed facility offering primary and secondary care services. The design of the building will include housing for doctors and nurses. Perez has confirmed that the long-awaited facility would cater to all medical needs and emergencies, and there will be no need to rush patients to Belize City.
In the meantime, the polyclinic remains the primary referral health center that serves islanders with limited resources. Medical emergencies cannot be treated, and patients must be airlifted to Belize City. Many island residents say this is unacceptable as San Pedro provides the central government with millions of dollars in taxes. They hope through this Taiwanese loan, the hospital will be built and San Pedro, Belize’s prime tourism destination, can benefit from the services of a fully equipped medical facility.
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