Honoring the Navy today - Aboard the Ike
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Navy Nurses and Doctors Save Little Girl

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Commanders Susan P. McKeefrey, 50 from Rhinebeck, N.Y. and a nurse with TQ Surgical and Pamela C. Harvey, 39 from Muscatine, Iowa and a doctor with TQ Surgical got to see Riyam Shihan again during an arranged meeting in Habbaniyah. Riyam's cousin was trying to close a heavy, metal door, at a home in Habbaniyah when it became unhinged and fell on Riyam, crushing her skull. When she arrived at TQ Surgical, her condition deteriorated quickly. Fearing the worst, doctors and corpsmen "launched into action," said Lt. Cmdr. Pamela C. Harvey, 39 from Muscatine, Iowa and a doctor with TQ Surgical, 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward). In the early hours of October 14th, an unconscious Riyam Shihan was flown to a higher level hospital. TQ Surgical's staff doubted she would survive the required surgery, much less walk and talk again. So when Riyam walked back into the hospital a month later and asked for strawberry bubble gum, surgeons and corpsmen were amazed. "I couldn't believe it," said Cmdr. Tracy R. Bilski, a trauma surgeon for TQ Surgical. Upon seeing the girl's outcome, Bilski, 38 from Bellmawr, N.J. burst into tears of shock and joy. "(The sheik) is in charge of six thousand people, and all of them know this story, and soon all of their friends will know this story," said Hameed. Riyam's grandfather has also informed many other sheiks, who will probably inform their people, he added. "Saving this girl's life," said Hameed, "was like saving all of Iraq." The PTT teams and Surgical Unit are deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in the Al Anbar Province of Iraq (MNF-W) to develop the Iraqi Security Forces, facilitate the development of official rule of law through democratic government reforms, and continue the development of a market based economy centered on Iraqi Reconstruction.

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