Press release

Praslin Bus Accident Students Return Home

October 5, 2010

Victoria, Mahé, 05 October 2010: Two of the students who suffered injuries in the Praslin bus accident on the 25th June earlier this year and were sent to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for further medical treatment have today returned home to Seychelles.

The two students, Stacy Bastienne and Cedrick Leon, who arrived early this morning, were greeted by the Minister for Health, Dr Erna Athanasius, Principal Secretary for Health, Mrs Helene Maiche, Special Adviser to the Minister of Health, Dr Bernard Valentin, Dr Anne Gabriel and Mrs Malcy Tambara, as well as the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Jean-Paul Adam.

The two students, who have been away for three months undergoing treatment for the injuries they sustained in the accident, left Seychelles via Air Ambulance on the 27 June and were accompanied by their respective mothers, Mrs Marissa Jean and Mrs Celine Accouche.

While speaking of their return, President James Michel said “I am very pleased to welcome these two brave youngsters home and I am very grateful to the government of the UAE for the care and hospitality they extended to students and their families.”

The President added that he wanted to thank the people of Seychelles for the continuous solidarity and support they have shown the families affected as they go through these difficult times. He also said that he is looking forward to visiting the students personally on his next visit to Praslin.

While speaking to members of the press at the airport this morning Minister Athanasius said “I am very happy to have them home. We share in the joy of their families and friends both on Mahé and Praslin.”

She congratulated them for the courage they have shown throughout this period and thanked the President and government of the UAE for their generous gift. All medical expenses, from the moment the Air Ambulance landed to transport the two children and their family members to Abu Dhabi right up until their return this morning, has been paid for by the Government of UAE. She further stressed “during all the time that I have worked for the Ministry of Health, almost 24 years, there has never been another country or government that has helped and supported us this way and it is thanks to the excellent relationship and friendship that exists between Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed [President of the UAE] and President Michel which made this type of extensive support possible.”

The Minister went on to say that the returning patients would continue to get all the necessary follow up treatment required to ensure the fullest physical and psychological rehabilitation possible.

While speaking of the specialist medical procedures the children underwent in Abu Dhabi, the returning mothers said they were extremely grateful to the nurses and doctors both in Seychelles and the UAE for their quick actions and support. They also added a special thanks to the people of Seychelles for all their warm wishes and prayers.

Both Stacey and Cedrick also added their thanks, saying that they felt lucky to have been able to get such specialist attention and that they were very happy to be home.