Doctors on USS Makin Island Treat Stricken Pakistani Sailor

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A Pakistani sailor recovering from an emergency appendectomy prepares to depart the amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island in a Pakistani navy helicopter. Navy photo by Clark Lane

Doctors aboard the San Diego-based amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island performed an emergency appendectomy on a Pakistani sailor while operating in the Gulf of Aden last week.

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The Pakistan navy frigate Tariq requested assistance for a sailor experiencing abdominal pain. The sailor was transferred to the Military Sealift Command dry cargo and ammunition ship USNS Amelia Earhart and then flown to the Makin Island.

The Makin Island has the largest shipboard medical facility in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations, including full surgical facilities. Doctors performed an emergency appendectomy on the sailor, who was then flown back to his ship.

“We are thankful to have been in the right place at the right time to help a fellow mariner,” said Makin Island Commanding Officer Capt. Mark Melson.

The crew on Tariq expressed gratitude to the surgical team aboard Makin Island for the rapid medical response.

The Makin Island left San Diego in October along with the amphibious transport dock USS Somerset, amphibious dock landing ship USS Comstock and the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit.

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