News: RAS aids Afghan girl with healing touch
Story by Sgt. Dorian Gardner
CAMP DELARAM II, Afghanistan — A group of nomad Afghans approached Camp Delaram II seeking medical attention and to their delight, a corpsman didn't hesitate to provide that attention here, March 9.
According to Petty Officer 3rd Class Paul Ward, a corpsman with 2d Low Altitude Air Defense, a small contingent came across the wandering family during a routine patrol around the outer perimeter of the base.
"The interpreter said the girl had a cut on her hand," said Ward. "When I first saw it, I was taken back. It was pretty infected, swollen twice its size."
The laceration was caused by a machine used to crush grain. After 20 days without medical attention, the girl's hand became swollen and infected, according to Sr. Chief Kenneth Willburn.
If they had waited any longer, Sepsis would have set in, Willburn added.
As a result of possible Sepsis, a form of blood poisoning, her internal organs would begin to systematically shut down. After they shut down, the girl would eventually die.
Ward proceeded to clean the wound with water and sterile gauze, replacing the dirty bandages that covered her hand. After readdressing her wound with sterile gauze, she was transported to the Regimental Aid Station within the camp.
When the child arrived to the RAS, doctors on staff provided closer medical attention, further cleaning the wound.
"She was nervous at first," said Willburn. "We gave her some juice and cereal to keep her mind off the pain. She was a strong kid. After a few minutes, she started to loosen up and smile a little bit."
Though the medical staff insisted the child receive further medical attention, the family was not able to stay.
"It was hard for us to let her go like that but it wasn't our decision," said Willburn.
Though Regimental Combat Team 2 is here primarily to aid in the fight against terror, improving the living conditions of local Afghan families is always a welcomed task.
"We provide medical attention, and where ever we can, we will," said Willburn. "Doing things like this will help us to gain their [Afghans] trust."
Though the medical staff was not able to ensure her health without surgical help, corpsmen and doctors provided what care they could.