Hospital Ship Comfort Returns To Norfolk Following Disaster Relief Mission

After nearly two months at sea, USNS Comfort (T-AH-20) returned to homeport Norfolk from providing life-saving care to residents of Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria.

Comfort left Norfolk on Sept. 29 and arrived in Puerto Rico on Oct. 4. Immediately upon arrival, sailors from Comfort started treating patients. Ultimately, according to a Navy statement, Comfort would treat more than 1,899 patients, perform more than 1,899 patients, perform 191 surgeries, provide 76-thousand liters of oxygen, and ten tons of food and water.

hospital ship
Image Credits: US Air Force

The Navy reported ship’s the physicians conducted nearly 200 total surgeries, including 44 general surgical procedures such as hernia repair, gallbladder removal and appendix removal; 25 major orthopedic surgical cases; 17 amputations; and 15 urologic procedures.

Among the notable surgeries, the Navy reported Comfort’s medical team performed:

  • A modified radical mastectomy for an advanced case of breast cancer
  • A complex multi-organ abdominal cancer resection
  • An urgent drainage and exploration of a complicated neck infection
  • An emergent open repair of a ruptured aortic aneurysm which comprised the largest – the most complex surgery ever performed on a hospital ship.

Also while providing disaster relief, the Comfort staff delivered two children during the hurricane relief mission. The first was a baby girl, Sara Victoria Llull Rodriguiz, born Oct. 14. The second was a baby boy, Isaias Valerio-Fonseca, born Nov. 3. His father is a Navy veteran, according to a Navy statement.


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