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Thread: Hospital Ships

  1. #1

    Hospital Ships

    In a conversation in the chatroom, Chick asked whether we ever hold a CareCure Convention so that people could meet each other. It became clear that the members of this site are so far flung that there is no place on earth that would be suitable. So, the idea came up that perhaps we should do a round-the-world cruise, picking up people has we go and then eventually dropping them back in their home cities. Of course, one idea led to another. Steven Edwards suggested a hospital ship. So, here is one crazy idea, that we lease a hospital ship, invite the best nurses and docs to come on board for a 3-month cruise around the world, and take care of people.

    The Navy has two hospital ships that are capable to holding as many as 400+ patients with a dozen or more operating rooms and full imaging facilities, labs, and room for a staff of hundreds. The U.S.S. Comfort and U.S.S. Mercy are two hospital ships that are run by the U.S. Navy, commissioned in 1987:
    Such ships also have helicopters to transport patients.

    There is even an organization that has bought, outfitted, and run four hospital ships capable to bring medical care to remote regions of the world. Since 1978, the Mercy Ships have treated over 200,000 people around the world.

    There are shipbuilding companies that offer hospital ships, i.e. the Hopeman Brothers:

  2. #2
    I'm in. Just point me east or west and give me
    time and place when/where we board.

    Let's do it!

  3. #3
    yeah now this would be fun. If the idea actually becomes a reality, I'm game too... I have a friend who has been working on/with Mercy Ships for years.

    Remember yesterday... Live today... Dream about tomorrow...

  4. #4
    What an incredibly good idea. Not only could it help people, but it would also raise SCI awareness in people's minds. Other than cost, I do have one question. There seem to be so many adamant supporters of "Cure" here and this seems to be primarily a "Care" Project, what do the "Cure-only" people think?
    Perhaps it would be more likely to happen if some other similar neurological (some better funded too) diseases were invited to help organize this. There seems to be a real need to work together within the SCI Community and the medical community too. Of course, if we can get a big Corporate Sponsor to put their logo on the side of the ship along side that big Red Cross....

  5. #5
    As I mentioned in another thread, I don't believe US laws don't apply when in international waters. Dr. Huang could train a number of surgeons to do OEG culturing and transplants who would "work" on the ship, the ship picks people up at nearby ports, goes into international waters, perform the transplants, and then either take you on a trip that provides rehab or drops you off back at your local port.

    How's that sound for making it a cure-related project?


  6. #6
    Count me in too! I assume the ship won't skip Europe It'll be fantastic.

  7. #7
    What a great idea! I'd be there in a heartbeat!

    "Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow"
    ~ Anon

  8. #8
    I've been on the USS Comfort...and it is far from wheelchair accessible. The bathrooms are not, and outside of the ICU the sleeping arrangements are bunk beds stacked 3-4 high. There are ramps, but they are far from ADA compliant...more like a 15% grade. Could be used for some interesting sports competitions though (down-hill suicide slalom).

    Also, no recreation areas, no pool, no theater, and no gorgeous dining room and gourmet kitchen. Give me a regular cruise ship anyday that has had at least 1/2 the cabins converted into fully accessible cabins (we will let the ASIA D's use the non-adapted cabins!).

    Seriously though, I think it would be great to look at having some type of Care/Cure get-together in the USA at least (where most of our members live)...maybe in conjunction with the various Abilities Expos.


  9. #9
    I do like the idea of taking a cruise ship with the members of this forum. The logistics of coordinating this event would be a daunting challenge due to everyone's special needs. I also like Steven's "out of the box" thinking about using technologies that are not ready in the US to be performed by qualified surgeons in International Waters.


  10. #10
    Senior Member rvr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    socal, usa
    would be less expensive, easier to access, and more useful to just lease a clinic in baja mexico, just minutes from the US border.

    rehab could then be performed in San Diego, or at a local US facility. San Diego already has a relationship with Baja facilities for pre-op testing & evaluations.

    of course, the fish tacos are a bonus....


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