30 April 2010

"I'm hit!"

Near Fallujah, April 2007.

"I'm hit," he said, coughing blood. "I'm hit."

"How bad?" came the reply from the crew of a MedEvac helicopter hovering in the distance.

[Marine Sgt. Jonathan E.] Tompkins had not yet unzipped his protective body armor vest. When he did, blood flowed from the wound.

The bullet had ripped through both lungs and zigzagged through internal organs, venting on Tompkins' right side a few inches above the belt line.

A Navy corpsman in a nearby Humvee heard Tompkins' call for help and rushed his aid.

The medic, known to Tompkins only as "Doc" Ferrer, pulled him from the Humvee. There, in the sands of Iraq, he performed battlefield surgery that saved the wounded soldier's [sic] life.

The bullet had shattered Tompkins' right rib cage, and every time he took a breath, fragments punctured his lung.

Without an anesthetic, Ferrer stuck his hand inside Tompkins' chest and pulled out the fragmented ribs, preventing them from further damaging his lung.

As Tompkins fought for his life, a firefight raged around him. Fellow Marines encircled him with Humvees for protection.

Crikey. Read the whole thing.

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