Navy Corpsmen Save Injured Afghan Girl in Marjah

Thanks to our wonderful Marines, this little girls life was saved. Shrapnel hit her from a IED planted by the brave mujahideen.

Story by Sgt. Brian Tuthill

HELMAND PROVINCE, Afghanistan When a 4-year-old Afghan girl named Azerha was struck by shrapnel Feb. 10, her brother Quassiam did the only thing he could think of approach a group of armed Marines miles away and ask for medical assistance.[...]

Azerha had been struck in the chest by a fragment of metal from an improvised explosive device using 82 mm mortar rounds which detonated near her home. The wound had caused bleeding and breathing problems for Azerha by the time she arrived, Navy corpsman reported as they examined and began to stabilize her for a medical evacuation to a medical trauma facility.

While waiting inside the walls of a farming compound for a helicopter to arrive, corpsmen treating Azerha found that her lung was beginning to collapse. Between the time her flight was scheduled to arrive and her worsening symptoms, Casasflores, the senior corpsman on scene, decided they had to act quickly to stabilize their patient.

"Her vitals began to drop while we were waiting for the medevac and we had to do a needle decompression," said Casasflores, who was born in Lima, Peru, but calls Newark, N.J., home. "She wasn't bleeding very badly, but with almost any trauma to the chest, you have to do a needle decompression [to allow the lung to expand again]."

"She took it extremely well for a small child," said Petty Officer 3rd Class Adam E. Neep, a field hospital corpsman with Weapons Company, 1/3. "For taking a big needle through her chest, she barely fussed."

It was touch and go for awhile but the Marines were able to stabilize the little patient until the medevac arrived. She later had surgery to remove a piece of shrapnel near her heart. God Bless the women and men of our military!

h/t Michael Yon

Posted by: Stable Hand at 12:17 AM


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