Belize Defence Force Private Cory Martells, one of the eleven soldiers injured in last week’s traffic accident near Cotton Tree Village, needs your help to receive a much-needed surgery. Martells is currently admitted to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital with a broken femur and needs to undergo surgery. The BDF is now looking for blood donors that assist in providing blood for Martell’s surgery. Today, the BDF’s Chief of Staff, Lieutenant Colonel Jermaine Burns provided an update on the conditions of the soldiers that were injured in the fatal accident.
Lt. Col. Jermaine Burns, Chief of Staff, BDF: “Thus far, six of the eight have been released to the care of the BDF and some to their families with the more minor injuries. There are two soldiers, whose names I don’t have on hand, one with the femur that I spoke about, that had damaged his femur, and the other with some cuts and abrasions which have been sorted out already. He had taken surgery. The one with the femur, though, is the soldier that requires negative blood, any negative class blood would work. We are appealing to the public for assistance with that because in our numbers in the BDF, we only have 13 guys with that class of blood. Out of the 13, we have only managed to get about four units thus far. We have a civilian who donated, so we have a fifth unit. We’re appealing for about three more units for that soldier before he could take surgery. His surgery is not as urgent, but it’s a broken femur, and he needs the surgery, and he would require those eight pints of blood.”
Burns added that the BDF has since begun to provide counselling services to the soldiers that were involved in the accident, which claimed the life of Lance Corporal 37-year-old Roxanne Hill Goff. who
Lt. Col. Jermaine Burns, Chief of Staff, BDF: “Just Monday, there was a counsellor who came from the EAP program within the government who saw two individual groups. You would imagine these were females who were the bulk of those who were seen in this very building. They were seen for an entire day, counselled, and then the BDF wellness team took over that counselling. That’s going to be an ongoing process. The grieving process has a couple stages that they will be going through, but I’m happy to report that the females within the BDF have garnered the strength to bury their own tomorrow in the Double Head Cabbage area at 1300 hours. So, the BDF is conducting the entire ceremony. The process is normally that we would engage the family, and if the family agrees to a complete honourable burial by the BDF then we go ahead and do just that. That is what the family has agreed to, and that is what we will be giving Lance Corporal Roxanie Hill-Goff. So, that’s what she will get tomorrow.”
Goff will be receiving an official funeral service tomorrow in rural Belize.