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Education  |   June 2013
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Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Mark J. Lenart, M.D.
    Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences; Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, Portsmouth, Virginia. mlenart29@gmail.com
  • Accepted for publication October 8, 2012.
    Accepted for publication October 8, 2012.×
  • CDR Mark Lenart, M.D., is currently deployed to Kandahar, Afghanistan, from Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, Portsmouth, Virginia. The views expressed in this work are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Navy, Department of Defense, nor the U.S. Government.
    CDR Mark Lenart, M.D., is currently deployed to Kandahar, Afghanistan, from Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, Portsmouth, Virginia. The views expressed in this work are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Navy, Department of Defense, nor the U.S. Government.×
  • From the Author: “I am a military service member (or employee of the U.S. Government). This work was prepared as part of my official duties. Title 17, USC, §105 provides that ‘Copyright protection under this title is not available for any work of the U.S. Government’. Title 17, USC, §101 defines a U.S. government work as a work prepared by a military service member or employee of the U.S. government as part of that person’s official duties.”
    From the Author: “I am a military service member (or employee of the U.S. Government). This work was prepared as part of my official duties. Title 17, USC, §105 provides that ‘Copyright protection under this title is not available for any work of the U.S. Government’. Title 17, USC, §101 defines a U.S. government work as a work prepared by a military service member or employee of the U.S. government as part of that person’s official duties.”×
Article Information
Education / Mind to Mind / Central and Peripheral Nervous Systems / Ophthalmologic Anesthesia / Respiratory System / Trauma / Burn Care
Education   |   June 2013
Endurance
Anesthesiology 06 2013, Vol.118, 1477-1478. doi:10.1097/ALN.0b013e3182784cae
Anesthesiology 06 2013, Vol.118, 1477-1478. doi:10.1097/ALN.0b013e3182784cae
On call in a distant land – where battles rage, and faith, family, and friends seem so far.
The pager beeps – an incoming casualty.
Down to the trauma bay.
He arrives on a stretcher. Nameless.
Blood. Dirt. Mangled flesh.
Where feet should be…nothing.
Trauma shears do their work to expose bone stripped of flesh.
Another soldier…patient…victim – like so many others.
And yet.
Our eyes meet.
He speaks, but I cannot hear. I move closer.
“When they cut off my legs, will I be asleep?”
Air rushes from my lungs.
I cannot breathe.
I struggle to reply. His eyes implore me to answer.
“Yes, of course,” I hear myself say.
Tears fall as I stroke his head.
“Tell me your name, son”.
He does. His final words to me.
And so it is, just as he knew it would be.
Day turns to night, which gives way to Dawn.
As I leave, I check my watch.
He will awaken to a different life - full of challenges.
I breathe a prayer for him.
For strength.
For acceptance. For his family.
For hope.