The Coordinator of NEMO, Lieutenant Colonel Shelton Defour along with a BDF soldier were taken to the Western Regional Hospital last night following a traffic incident. The two men were heading to San Ignacio yesterday evening when Defour lost control of the vehicle. The men are now on the road to recovery, but getting the medical assistance they needed at the time of the accident was what proved challenging. Cayo Correspondent Fem Cruz filed the following report shortly after the incident transpired on the highway.
Fem Cruz, Cayo Correspondent: Two persons are hospitalized at the Western Regional Hospital in Belmopan following yesterday evening’s traffic accident on the George Price Highway near the Orange Gallery. Love News understands that Sheldon Defour the National Coordinator for NEMO was driving a white pick up truck belonging to the department from his work place in Belmopan en route to his home in San Ignacio Town. Travelling along with him inside the pan of the pick up was 22-year-old BDF soldier Malcolm Santos when the accident happened. Love News spoke to the mother of Santos.
Nadine Gongora, Mother: “Yesterday we had an accident like after 5-5:30 thereabout. I got a call about the accident so I went up there and we were there like an hour and a half almost two hours and were waiting for the ambulance and no ambulance and they were calling and calling even the Doctor Manzanero was there he was up there and he was calling and calling and no ambulance and eventually we called the medical team from BDF. So they arrived on the scene and they brought him and like an hour and a half after we came down in a police back because we didn’t get any ambulance so the BDF came down with him and tried to fix him up because then he started to get cold and white because he was there too long waiting for an ambulance and still no ambulance came. So the doctor decided we could move him so we moved him and they put him in the vehicle and brought him down and that is when we got down here. Malcolm usually goes to work so he hikes a ride with Mr.Defour and well he said that the light from the sun spot in his face and he didn’t see the gravel and that is what caused the accident. I just want to say thanks to everybody who helped my son and everybody who showed love and was out there working hard and I just want to say how much I’m so disappointed in the hospital at Cayo whosoever is in charge of the ambulance because my son could have died, Mr.Defour could have died because we waited so long for an ambulance and up to we left and none ran us down on the road so I’m so disappointed really disappointed. If it is left for us to get an ambulance to bring somebody to the hospital they will die because then an hour and you’re waiting for an ambulance and none shows up ? It really hurts you understand and I’m really disappointed in Cayo.
Fem Cruz, Cayo Correspondent: What is the condition of your son ?
Nadine Gongora, Mother: “Right now Malcolm is stable he is okay, Mr.Defour he went home from last night and Malcolmn is getting discharged today so thank God and thanks to everybody and thanks for all the support and all the prayers.”
Love News reached out to Lieutenant Colonel Defour who says that aside from a few bruises and abrasions, he is doing well. While the ambulance did take almost two hours to get to the scene, once at the Western Regional Hospital, Defour says he was well taken care of. Of course, our interview with Defour would not be complete if he didn’t throw in a few guidelines for the hurricane season and Covid-19.
Lieutenant Colonel Shelton Defour: “The key thing for me to say now is that the staff at Western Regional Dr.Sosa and the nurses they did an excellent job. We were properly treated, professionally treated and cared for and I think we need to commend our medical facilities in this case the public hospital Western Regional because from what I saw I saw a group of professionals doing the best they could, being courteous and Belize at times we downplay the skills and professionalism of our people but I always say we are and can be second to none and to me that was displayed last night. Furthermore though the hurricane season is right upon us and I think the stronger message is for people to continue to be prepared to improve their emergency family plan considering the COVID-19 measures the Ministry of Health has been advocating and the police have been enforcing to ensure that we stay healthy, we stay safe and we work together and support each other. Those who can help those who are in need. We are in a very challenging situation as a country.”
Lieutenant Colonel Sheldon Defour and 22-year-old Malcolm Santos were reportedly at the accident site for an hour and a half before an ambulance arrived.