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Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Nurses are heroes too

by Joe Burlas

WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Feb. 24, 2004) -- While Capt. Tara
Hayden continues to praise the teamwork of all medical Soldiers of the
28th Combat Support Hospital, she played her own part in saving lives
of Soldiers and others wounded in OIF.

Hayden, an Army nurse currently assigned to the Evans Army Community
Hospital, Fort Carson, Colo., served with the 28th CSH in Kuwait and
Iraq from April to November, 2003, and shared her OIF experiences with
the Evans staff during an Army Nurse Corps anniversary celebration Feb.

“I had the opportunity to work with the finest doctors, nurses, medics
and support staff the Army has,” Hayden said. “Their dedication and
selfless service is hard to explain unless you were there to witness

The 28th CSH saw eight to 10 major trauma cases each day while Hayden
was in Iraq. It didn’t matter if the wounded person was a U.S. Soldier,
enemy prisoner of war or Iraqi civilian, each patient received
outstanding care, Hayden said.

Some of the most touching cases for the 28th staff involved three young
Iraqi boys who were playing with an improvised explosive devise when it
exploded, Hayden said. Two required CPR upon arrival to the hospital;
all required extensive surgeries. A little more than three months
later, all three walked out of the hospital to return home.

“Those that cared for these children have pictures of them and some
still say prayers for them,” Hayden said. “It didn’t matter to the
staff they were Iraqi -- they were three little boys in desperate need
of the finest medical care and they received it.”

Her OIF service really hit home, Hayden said, when an E-7 approached
her in the Evans Emergency Department in early February. When Hayden
told him she didn’t recognize him, the E-7 told her she had helped save
his life.

She said she then looked at the nametag on his uniform and the memories

“This was one of the Soldiers who had sustained multiple injuries from
a land mine – including a shattered femur and some intestinal
injuries,” she recalled.

And she recalled him asking her to pulled a picture of his two-week-old
daughter he hadn’t met from his uniform and holding his hand as she
reassured him that he would have the very best medical staff working on

Despite several touch-and-go situations, that staff helped pull him

“Today, he is walking on his own, has returned to work, still on light
duty” Hayden said, “and most importantly, has a beautiful
seven-month-old daughter who will now grow up with her father in her
link: http://www4.army.mil/ocpa/read.php?story_id_key=5698

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