March 07, 2010
All For One: The Amazing Story That Kept Soldier "X" Alive
Wow, just wow.
It is somewhat clouded in mystery due to the fact the soldier was accidentally shot in his own camp.....hence Soldier X
It was one of the most complex military logistical and medical operations ever undertaken – and it saved the life of a young British soldier critically injured in Afghanistan.Read it all.
It involved hundreds of doctors, air and ground crews of several nations, travelling many thousands of miles, revolutionary and experimental medical equipment, several planes and helicopters and communications between three continents and cost millions of pounds.[...]
The respected American journalist Michael Yon, himself a former US special forces soldier, reported on his blog that he heard the shot and saw a flurry of activity and a medical evacuation helicopter taking Soldier X away.
He needed a portable, low-pressure artificial lung and the Americans offered to help. But the bureaucracy of moving from the British to the American military system meant that valuable time was being lost.
Contacted by a quick-thinking British doctor at Camp Bastion, Mr Yon sent an urgent email to a group of American civilian volunteers called Soldiers’ Angels near Ramstein Air Base in Germany, where most American casualties from Iraq and Afghanistan are initially sent.
The volunteers, founded by the great-niece of General George S. Patton, alerted the US Army’s nearby Landstuhl Regional Medical Center’s Acute Lung Rescue Team, which specialises in going straight to the aid of soldiers with severe lung problems. [More...]
God Bless those who worked so hard to save this soldier.
UPDATE: Correction to the story regarding Soldiers Angels via Mudville Gazette
Michael Yon contacted Soldiers' Angels to improve communications about Soldier X's status after he was moved from British to US and German medical care. Soldiers' Angels did not directly contact the Acute Lung Rescue Team. Soldiers' Angels role is to support soldiers and soldiers' families, not to initiate or intervene in medical care.Again, such an amazing story.
100% of the credit goes to the coalition military medical teams, who pulled together across the world to save a human life - no matter what nationality. They would have done it for anyone. That is the spirit of the original story, "The needs of the one."