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Senior Anegada resident blasts NDP for neglecting medical airlift for Sister Islands

- expresses gratitude to VIP administration for rectifying issue with medical airlift for emergency situations
93-year-old Anegada resident, Darvin G. Potter has blasted the former National Democratic Party (NDP) Government for years of neglect on the sister island regarding medical airlifts from the Sister Islanders to Tortola. Photo: 284 Media/Facebook
Mr Darvin G. Potter said a helicopter was sourced from the USVI, however, they wanted $3000 upfront before they leave for Anegada. Photo: Internet Source
Mr Darvin G. Potter said a helicopter was sourced from the USVI, however, they wanted $3000 upfront before they leave for Anegada. Photo: Internet Source
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - 93-year-old Anegada resident Darvin G. Potter has blasted the former National Democratic Party (NDP) Government for years of neglecting to address the urgent issue of emergency medical airlifts from the Sister Islands to Tortola.

Potter was at the time speaking during an interview with 284 Media on his perils of trying to find transportation for his ill wife from Anegada to Tortola. 

He recalled that after noticing that his wife was not well later Thursday night, March 24, 2022, he took his wife to the clinic on Anegada the following Friday morning.

Patient had to be airlifted to Tortola 

He said at the clinic, it was decided that his wife had to be airlifted to the main island of Tortola. There it was discovered that she suffered a stroke and hence the beginning of a series of challenges and anxiety.

“We should have had this thing rectified many years ago, it hasn’t been, and the present government is the one who has solved the problem,” he said.

Blasting the previous NDP Government, Mr Potter said: “They had all the money in the world to put this same operation in place.

“I’m not going to give them any rest on their feet… because they have done us wrong,” he added. 

Potter recalled that at the clinic on Friday morning, while a ferry was available to transport his wife, it was not the best option given her condition.

Helicopter wanted $3000 upfront 

He said a helicopter was sourced from the USVI; however, they wanted $3000 upfront before they leave for Anegada.

“We didn’t have that type of money,” he said and that is when the Government stepped in to handle the situation with the money guaranteed and the aircraft arriving after 3:00 pm the afternoon.

On the guarantee of the money, Potter recalled, “I didn’t know at the time, but after we came here to Tortola, I was made aware who is now responsible for the money that was paid to the helicopter company and I was informed that the Government took care of everything.

Mr Potter said; however, that as of now there is a formula in place to service all the outer islands should a situation like that has to take place again.

Situation rectified 

“I want to emphasise here, it has no right to come to this juncture seeing that the BVI has all this kind of money knocking about, to buy airplanes and give the money to the boys in the hood and you can’t recover your money,” Potter said.

He added that as of now, his wife is in a better condition and much improved. “I don’t want to leave God out of this picture because he is the one I am thinking in our present situation.”

He also thanked the government for moving swiftly to rectify the situation and putting systems in place for the future.

38 Responses to “Senior Anegada resident blasts NDP for neglecting medical airlift for Sister Islands”

  • Windy (01/04/2022, 11:43) Like (13) Dislike (12) Reply
    Good we will never forget the neglect of 8 long years
  • who 2 blame? (01/04/2022, 12:17) Like (31) Dislike (8) Reply
    The NDP is no longer in power. It's 3 years later
  • sorry to say (01/04/2022, 12:18) Like (29) Dislike (5) Reply
    but that is why the ndp lost and the vip will lose.
  • Sad (01/04/2022, 12:55) Like (2) Dislike (10) Reply
    This is sad. I remember the days when something like, would just require a call to Mr. R. Pickering of Road Town, who would make his way directly to Anegada to render aid. Pickering would take oils, charms and the good book with him, and immediately tend to the ill and afflicted. Its unfortunate he no longer dwells in this world. That makes me question if Anegadians still overwhelmingly believe in this alternative form of medicine?
    • face (01/04/2022, 21:59) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
      What is this alternative form of medicine you speak of that requires oils, charms and the good book? Never heard of such medical treatment that requires being anointed and invoked with prayer. Are people from Anegada really involved with this? Look ting!
  • Virgin Islander (01/04/2022, 12:57) Like (10) Dislike (58) Reply
    And some foolish self centered individuals are saying No to VIP Andrew and his team has done us well they deserve another Term and I will be voting for them ALL THE WAY....
  • noting new (01/04/2022, 13:27) Like (9) Dislike (3) Reply
    over the years each administration will pay more attention to make sure the tourist have a wonderful experience in our country while seriously neglecting projects that will bring benefits to the residents, look at the roads, lack of running water in some areas, dirty smoke down pockwood ponds

    Just a question
    all the money we claim to be making from tourism can some be spent on the aging infrastructure for the benefit on those who call this place they home
  • But check this (01/04/2022, 14:16) Like (23) Dislike (6) Reply
    Y’all know the VIP is jumping all over this. I respect my elders and I wish the best for his wife and everything is well for her. However, I think the man was coached to say the NDP Neglecting medical airlifts for Sister Islands. How long is NDP OUT OF OFFICE? OK THEN. EVERY ADMINISTRATION LEAVES BEHIND. DO WHAT THE F..K YOU GOTTA DO AND STOP THE F…ING BLAME GAME.
  • for real (01/04/2022, 15:05) Like (17) Dislike (19) Reply
    What is this idiot saying. all he got was a free trip for his wife to go to the hospital. it was not a fix to the problem. Just sucking up because he got a free ride.
    • have some respect (01/04/2022, 16:42) Like (10) Dislike (3) Reply
      why call the elder an idiot. the truth is the truth it cannot be change. total disrespect.
      • @Have some respect (01/04/2022, 17:21) Like (6) Dislike (2) Reply
        Truth is the truth. you said it. Not because you got a favour mean you start condemning this person and that.
  • Me (01/04/2022, 15:10) Like (23) Dislike (0) Reply
    Mr.Potter sorry to hear about ypur debacle but I can assure that it's not a NDP Govt that cost this desperation.YOU as a respected 93 years know there was a VIP.Govt. in -VIP out to it remains the same treatment for our sister islands.The present GOVT.promise to deliver on airlift service nut.cant deliver.Over 6million for COI defence,milllions for Andy's Chateau for ferry dock,Millions for land adjacent,Millions for.TOAD HALL ,millions squandered wrong for.fishers,farmers.So all I'm.Mr.Potter come.election U 'll hear the blame game again.Hope Ms.Potter well in God's grace
  • again (01/04/2022, 15:14) Like (14) Dislike (2) Reply
    I heard U what about the speakers bill, is it my tax funds.
  • lol (01/04/2022, 15:20) Like (21) Dislike (4) Reply
    I agree with him. NDP covered that district for 12 years and should have had everything done. It's not as if Anegada had a VIP representative for over 40 years................oh but wait...............SMFH!
  • E. Leonard (01/04/2022, 15:21) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
    It is wonderful news that Mr. Potter got the assistance needed to get his wife medical attention.. Nevertheless, in an emergency milliseconds matter and the sooner that one can get proper medical care the better the chance of survival and recovery. The outlying islands, including my ancestral home, “the Key,” have always been neglected. They were treated like second class citizens. I was born on Cooper Island and spent my early years on Cooper. Luckily, neither none of my 12 siblings nor I had to be rushed to Tortola for emergency medical care, for if any of us had to, the outcome may have been???. I will not go into the details here of my beloved Mother Maria sudden passing. There may have been an excuse for the neglect and lack of service in the past but there should be no excuse now for either Anegada, Virgin Gorda, Jost Van Dyke, Tortola, or sister Islands .

    Moreover, the public safety and medical services, services in the VI needs to be assessed and revamped with a jolt of additional investment. Investing in people must be the number 1 priority; it is a Quadrant 1 issue, ie, it is important and urgent.

    A few weeks ago in a commentary on this site, I advocated for the reassessing and revamping of fire and ambulance services, suggesting that wherever one resides on Tortola and elsewhere in remote areas the response time for fire and ambulance services should be relatively equal. I live in a relatively small community and it has 18 fire stations.

    A general election is nigh and improvements in public safety, education, medical services, economic diversification, agriculture and food security, etc must be debated and demanded issues.
    • Disinterested (01/04/2022, 16:39) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
      E. Leonard, as a true politician, you skillfully skirted the political failure on the airlift issue. Lol. Indeed, outlying islands issues has always been on the back burner. But living on outlying islands comes at higher risk than living on the mainland. This is true in any island chain group. Nonetheless, the BVI can do better for the outlying islands.
    • Quiet Storm (02/04/2022, 07:37) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      There are no Pilates in this catastrophic neglect and failure. Residing on the outlying carries a much higher risk(s) than it needs to be. The colonialists didn’t give a rat’s ass about the people on the outlying islands (some politically correct call them the sister islands but this is not how sisters are treated) and the self-governing local government is only a small degree of magnitude better. The bottom line is that they are still neglected. Out of physical slavery, the BVI became a classist society with the outlying Islands casted at the bottom. Providing first class medical care to all residents in the BVI should be the number 1 priority. It is not. Some medical providers are only in the bottom/profit, sucking blood out of rock if they could. Adequate and proper medical care, well let them eat cake as Queen Antonette told her French subjects. They are some of them a bunch of greedy bastards, especially the one...well I will leave that. All governments from the iconic HL Stoutt to Williard Wheatley to Cyril Romney to Ralph T. O’Neal, Dr. D. Orlando Smith to Andrew Fahie must share in the failure. It is not the NDP that comprise of two medical doctors solely to blame. Interestingly, none of the two doctors in the NDP had the health portfolio. Why??? E. Leonard, muchas gracious for the courage to keep it real.
  • Reckless. (01/04/2022, 15:39) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    NDP was reckless and careless in many ways...Whats more disappointing VIP got in power and instead of trying to do better, they ended up been just as reckless. Just a little better than NDP... NDP at 55% . VIP at 60% all failing grade. In Govt. The passing grade is 70%. . So long we ain get that.
    • @ reckless (01/04/2022, 19:31) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      some of us should recall almost one year of lockdown due to the universal pandemic it takes money to buy land because whomever is in charge of our territory(government business)must have the ability to generate income but BVI had to lockdown therefore cash flow was disrupted

      places like USA and some caribbean islands have the ability to simply switch on their press and print money
  • Native Senior Citizen of the British Virgin Islands. (01/04/2022, 16:20) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
    The NDP as the ruling Cabinet died, (politically speaking) died February 25th, 2019. Shooting at a dead bird don't make any sense, VIP. It up to you to prove that you deserve a second term in the position of power. In my honest opinion, you impotently do not, spiritually, socially, and economically.
  • Just saying (01/04/2022, 16:46) Like (2) Dislike (5) Reply
    I sticking with vip
  • Stealth (01/04/2022, 17:01) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    The VIP shellacked and unseated the NDP. During a campaign, opposition parties usually campaign that the incumbent government is underperforming and it can do better. The VIP honeymoon ended May 19, so the blame is not solely on the previous VIP or NDP governments. The VIP owns it.
    • Smh (01/04/2022, 20:24) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
      Let truth live. On the campaign trail, both the incumbent government and opposition parties have all the answers. But in power, it is a different story. Clearly, campaigning and governing are two different things.
  • Overall (01/04/2022, 19:12) Like (7) Dislike (1) Reply
  • This is inaccurate (01/04/2022, 21:04) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
    For years we have had proper medical evacuation from Anegada using VI Airlink with the help of Govt. The company is no longer operating since the second half of 2021, Govt and the airport was to put contingency in place with other local or foreign operators. As usual, the Govt is not proactive and it comes back to proper planning. Mr. Potter should have told the news moving an unstable person with a stroke condition is not something you can quickly do, even other medical air ambulance have to send their people to the hospital to make sure the patient is stable before putting them on an airplane. This blame thing is not needed, someone needs to speak out and it shouldn’t be done like this, with false information. This is beyond political and govt focus on the wrong thing as always.
  • Interesting (01/04/2022, 22:55) Like (1) Dislike (5) Reply
    Poor old man trying his best to say what he was told to say. As a senior he should stop and ask himself q couple of questions like what did his past representatives do for him and the people on Anegada regarding this topic and many others over the years. He should also ask himself if it makes sense to blame the NDP for what they did not do knowing fully well that at this point and time it is baseless. Sorry to hear about his wife and wishing her a speedy recovery. I empathize with the old man and at this age I would encourage him to cast his cares on Jesus and stop fretting over spilled milk.
  • E. Leonard (02/04/2022, 08:49) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    Mr. Darwin Potter’s situation with his wife illness seems relatively similar to that of fellow Anegadian and social activist, national hero, and former legislator Theodolph (Dolph)Faulkner. Supposedly, Dolph had to charter a seaplane to take his pregnant wife from Anegada to Tortola (Town) for medical care. Dissatisfied supposedly with the level and quality of care his wife was receiving, he, lantern in hand, went out nightly to the public square (now Sir Olva Georges Plaza) to air his protest about the medical care among other issues. His protest grew into a movement and resulted into the Great March of 24 November 1949(The Great March is now a public holiday in November). Some 1500 people participated in the march; 1500 participating in a march in 1949 was massive and a BFD. The march bore fruit, resulting in a)restoring in 1950 of the Legislature which was suspended in 1901, 2)first constitution of the modern era granted in 1950, c)some direct voting for 4 members of Legislative Council, d)universal adult suffrage in 1954 (previously voters had to own property and pass a literacy test, restricting voting to a certain class of people), etc. Anegada (15 square miles, a coral atoll, population ~300), the most remote island in the VI from Tortola, the largest island and the location of the capital ( Road Town) and the seat of government, people is in the forefront, tip of the spear, in engaging in and leading social activism to effect positive change.
    • Quiet Warrior (02/04/2022, 11:06) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      Agree that 1500 people protesting in the BVI in 1949 was indeed massive. The population of BVI in 1949 was approximately 7000; that means approx 21% of the people was partaking in the protest. The people in the BVI in 1949 were more courageous and willing to endure some sacrifice for the greater good than the current BVI population. Many in the community are peeved about many issues but are afraid to speak out and are unwilling to sacrifice to effect positive. They cheer out of the view for the few brave souls that are willing to speak out and speak. Everyone is waiting for someone to act for the greater good. What happened to courage demonstrated by the brave souls of 1949?

      Noel Lloyd and Positive Action Movement in the late 1960s demonstrated some of the courage and sacrifice. But their fervor was only temporary and the fever didn’t spread. The BVI people courage, determination and unflinching will to sacrifice for the greater good seemed to have a holiday. Now, every man or woman is about materialism. The BVI is in a doldrum state.
  • WOW (02/04/2022, 10:20) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    I dont understand why we cant buy two helicopters and park them up with two pilots paid to be on call. Those is power have the $3k on hand thus its not been a priority.

    All these millions and we have no national air capability!

    Along with not hiring lifeguards for certain beaches. Its crazy. All of this is part of self sufficiency.
    • E. Leonard (02/04/2022, 13:53) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      @Wow, endorsed the suggestion. The BVIHSA can procure two medical helicopters, train at least three pilots, and installed and maintain a helopad at the Dr. D. Orlando Smith Hospital. The choppers don’t necessarily have to prepositioned at Anegada, Virgin Gorda, Jost Van Dyke, etc; it is a short flying time. Nonetheless, there must be helopads at those and other locations. If the BVIHSA don’t want to own and train the pilots, it can look at outsourcing the service. Perhaps, it can partner/contract with our close and friendly neighbor, the USVI. There are other options available so it can choose the most probable option. The medical capability on major islands must be boosted. Though it may or may not practical to station doctors on all the outlying islands, other personal can be trained to provide a higher level of care. In the Navy, HM (Hospital Corpsman) provides a myriad of services; an independent duty corpsman is capable of providing an even higher level of service. Just saying. A change must be made for providing a higher level of service, a higher standard of living and quality of life for people residing on outlying islands. Marine ambulance service should also be established either as a stand-alone or to back up the air ambulance service. Clearly, there are no simple solutions so more in-depth research and assessment Ian needed. What is not needed though is analysis into paralysis.
  • WOW (02/04/2022, 10:30) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Yea we can pay for certain peoples security 24/7.

    suffer legal fees galore plus fund customs and police but no life guards no emergency pilots no govt helicopter. Ofcourse the plane is missing.

    $7 million on missing plane how many helicopters, life gaurds and year long pilot contracts is that again?
  • Anegadian (02/04/2022, 11:12) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Anegada rocks and Anegadian for life. Anegadian self-empowerment is a must.
  • ... (02/04/2022, 15:29) Like (0) Dislike (3) Reply
    He is right ndp is bad news
  • VIslander (02/04/2022, 16:19) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Mr.Potter so sorry to hear your hardship.Elton said it right in regards to my Faulkner's plight.Was there a NDP at that time?I listened to you on284 and believe me you were off the rack some,no disrespect sir,but VIP-NDP all the same.VIP manifesto was to remove the most corrupt history that included to have better emergency evacuation measures in place etc.If can shake up your 93yrs you will remember a GENTLEMAN by the name NEVILLE BRAITHWAITE and how much he.did at times like this.There was no
  • @ BUT CHECK THIS (02/04/2022, 16:56) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
  • AGE IS HONOR (03/04/2022, 09:02) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply

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