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Posted: 3/25/2006 2:26:36 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/25/2006 2:57:48 AM EDT by NavyDoc1]
Early this morning, asleep in my hooch dreaming of beer, food, and women ( Hooters chain embodies all of one's basic needs, eh?) when we get jarred awake by the CP with a call that only means one thing: casualties inbound. Urgent surgicals. (Are there any other kind?)
It was the Army this time. Seems the 506th and the Marines 3/7 trade off fights. Us, we're on call 24/7. Great if nothings going on but really wearing in the long term.
Stagger out of the rack, pull on BDU bottoms and boots, walk outside.
They come in. Dismounted patrol ambushed with an IED initiation. 2 DOA. Cracked both chests on the stretcher...we ALWAYS do a full court press. No joy. One's aorta was gone from arch to diaphragm...that was probably an instant killer. The other, just general massive thoracic wounds.
The third, "Mike", was awake and alert. Missing right foot and right hand, but awake and alert, and (amazingly) cracking jokes. He didn't know about the other guys and as far as I know, still doesn't.
Me: What's your name.
Mike: Mike.
Me: how old are you, Mike?
Mike: 20....20 today.
Me: Happy f-ing birthday, guy.
Mike: Yeah, happy f-ing birthday to me, doc.
I took mike off to sleep. Intubated him and placed a central line as the 2 surgeons scrubbed and started on his leg. He must have stepped on the IED. Foot was gone and the tibia was completely exposed. They controlled the bleeding, removed the non-viable tissue and a portion of the tibia while I was pumping in the O neg. Then to the arm.
Once he was stablized, and his wounds covered, we called for air evac to the 10th CASH. He left intubated and sedated with our evac nurse, Dave, at his side. I usually give Dave a few drugs and instructions: BP goes up. give this. Goes down, give that. He moves, give this and that. Mike gets a ride in style: sole patient on a blackhawk with a cobra escort. (When Dave gets back, he has an exciting story of somebody shooting at the helo on the way out).
All said and done, we come out of the OR to face the new sun rising over AR Ramadi. It's already getting hot and the wind kicks up some sand.
Our OIC, a trauma surgeon who resembles (both in appearance and sense of humor) Jim Belushi and will retire from the Navy on 1 Dec (also my birthday) says that he feels that he is stuck in a bad MASH episode. We begin to talk about the night. The general consensus is that it was a bad birthday for the kid. One of the Corpsmen, a 1st class with 10 years in, makes a pretty telling comment...sort of along the lines of how many brand new 20 year olds would be able to keep up his spirit in the face of those severe injuries.
We got to talking about that. We see 'em come and go. 18, 19, 20 year old (not kids) but men. A 20 year old at school, worring about his date for the frat formal is a kid. A 20 year old 11B in Iraq is a man, years above his peers in character and fortitude....nothing like the whining kids I see back in the states. They should take a lesson from such men as Mike.
This is why I went to medical school.

Well, I'm going to crash while I have the chance.
Another day in the life of the Forward Resuscitive Surgical Team here at AR Ramadi, Iraq.
"Cheaters of Death."

Happy Birthday, Mike of the 506th.
Link Posted: 3/25/2006 2:32:39 AM EDT
God bless you and your team for being there for those guys.
Link Posted: 3/25/2006 2:35:36 AM EDT
Thank you for what you do.
Link Posted: 3/25/2006 3:08:14 AM EDT
You guys are like magicians with scalpels. It takes alot to do what you guys do.

Link Posted: 3/25/2006 3:19:13 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/25/2006 3:20:40 AM EDT by curt]
Thank you mike and doc.
Link Posted: 3/25/2006 3:34:31 AM EDT
From a old Jar Head, thank you for all you do.
Link Posted: 3/25/2006 3:37:09 AM EDT
Happy birthday Mike!!!

Thanks.
Link Posted: 3/25/2006 3:59:27 AM EDT
Thanks and God bless, Doc.
Link Posted: 3/25/2006 4:09:38 AM EDT
You should start thinking about writing a book, good style.....thank you seems so trivial ...but thank you.
Link Posted: 3/25/2006 4:24:43 AM EDT
I'd toss you and them a cold opne if I could.


Stay safe and keep putting them back together.
Link Posted: 3/25/2006 4:54:51 AM EDT
thank you
Link Posted: 3/25/2006 5:04:05 AM EDT
Glad you're there doing God's good work, doc.

Happy birthday Mike, we owe you.

God bless and keep our fallen warriors.

Link Posted: 3/25/2006 5:14:33 AM EDT
NavyDoc1: Thank you for the report. The news I get on ARFCOM is much better than the BS found in the so-called "news rags." Be happy and stay safe.
Link Posted: 3/25/2006 5:35:17 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Nephilim:
You should start thinking about writing a book, good style.....thank you seems so trivial ...but thank you.


Thanks for all the kind words gents. It's the trigger pullers that deserve the respect, not us support pukes.
Link Posted: 3/25/2006 5:40:17 AM EDT
Thanks for your service, Doc!

Take care of our troops over there and stay safe!
Link Posted: 3/25/2006 6:17:13 AM EDT
Thank you very much Mike for your service and a snapshot of current events. As a question, what specialties do you guys have there and what ratios and needs (ortho, neuro, thoracic/cv, anethesia)?

Thanks
Link Posted: 3/25/2006 6:41:16 AM EDT
God bless you for taking care of our Men and Women over there. Please extend my thanks to the rest of your team.

Reading your post was very moving, even for a well seasoned EMS pilot like myself.

Thanks,

Flyer
Link Posted: 3/25/2006 6:46:23 AM EDT
God Bless you guys.

Link Posted: 3/25/2006 6:47:26 AM EDT
Happy birthday Mike.
Link Posted: 3/25/2006 6:49:01 AM EDT
THis is why I donate to the Semper Fi Fund, HHV, and why I sent my Leupold to Iraq with American Snipers.
Can I post this in another forum?
Link Posted: 3/25/2006 6:54:36 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/25/2006 7:42:07 AM EDT by Sub-MOA]
Its been said but... Thank you sir.
Link Posted: 3/25/2006 7:17:40 AM EDT
My feelings go out toMike and all the others like him.
Navydoc1, it is support pukes (your words) that make the job of Mike and others like him the best the world has ever seen.
I will pop a cold one for Mike and for you later today, Hell I may even go to Hooters for you.
Link Posted: 3/25/2006 7:30:15 AM EDT
from a zoomie in Al Sahra.. Thanks Doc, you guys are the ones we all respect and admire... you fix it as much as you can, anything from a simple nail through the foot (me a month ago) to having bad traumas.
my hat is off to you sir.
Link Posted: 3/25/2006 7:31:24 AM EDT
Originally Posted By CannoncockerUSMC:
THis is why I donate to the Semper Fi Fund, HHV, and why I sent my Leupold to Iraq with American Snipers.
Can I post this in another forum?[/quote]

Sure, be my guest. IM me with a link, and I'll answer any questions there too.
Link Posted: 3/25/2006 7:39:24 AM EDT
Thanks for all that you do!
Link Posted: 3/25/2006 7:39:31 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ClayP:
Thank you very much Mike for your service and a snapshot of current events. As a question, what specialties do you guys have there and what ratios and needs (ortho, neuro, thoracic/cv, anethesia)?

Thanks



I'm part of an FRSS team. FRSS stands for Forward Surgical Resusitative System. 3 M.D.'s 2 surgeons of pretty much any flavor (we have an orthopoedic surgeon and a trauma surgeon); 1 anesthesiologist (me...I'm also fellowship trained in interventional pain management...we've done extremity surgery under local blocks only many times); and 3 corpsmen who do EVERYTHING from circulated, to scrub, re-sterilize everything, set up the generator, etc. Put all these guys in 2 hummers with 2 trailors and we can perform emergency surgery within one hour of arriving at a local. Everything is portable: the OR table is a frame that a standard NATO stretcher fits into, the anesthesia machine is a little portable/folding jobby (NARCOMED), etc.
We've a few additional assets: an evac nurse to take care of the guys as we move 'em to the rear for more definative care.
Our job is to perform resusitate and evaluate wounded. We perform life or limb surgery then evac for more definative care.
Zack
Link Posted: 3/25/2006 7:42:23 AM EDT
God bless.
Link Posted: 3/25/2006 8:01:54 AM EDT
NavyDoc1, Mike will get to see many more birthdays because of you. Great job!
Link Posted: 3/25/2006 8:10:49 AM EDT
Wish you and Mike the best. Hope he recovers ok. Thanks for your service to our country.

Macumazahn M-I in medical school
Link Posted: 3/25/2006 8:14:19 AM EDT
Thanks for your service Zach.
You Navy docs kick ass, and every Marine I know has the utmost respect for you guys.

Stay safe. Semper Fidelis.
Link Posted: 3/25/2006 8:23:35 AM EDT

Originally Posted By NavyDoc1:

Originally Posted By Nephilim:
You should start thinking about writing a book, good style.....thank you seems so trivial ...but thank you.


Thanks for all the kind words gents. It's the trigger pullers that deserve the respect, not us support pukes.



Anyone who keeps them alive deserves respect. Just ask the family.
Link Posted: 3/25/2006 8:36:22 AM EDT
Thank you NavyDoc. Give Mike a Birthday wish and my gratitude too.
Link Posted: 3/26/2006 12:13:24 AM EDT
No business last night! Woo-hoo! Now some down time to write letters, do laundry, PR, etc.
We got word that Mike is in Germany already and will be undergoing many more surgeries. He is doing well and in good spirits.
Link Posted: 3/26/2006 12:37:55 AM EDT
Thank you sir for your service.
Link Posted: 3/26/2006 2:16:38 AM EDT
God bless yall, and the men and woman over there.
Share your stories anytime, that was 1 of the more captivating and interesting things I've read about the war in some time.
Link Posted: 3/26/2006 2:29:10 AM EDT
Thank's Doc. It must tear you up inside having inbound casualties. Stay strong and to you and all our forces, I salute you.
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