A young Marine tells his firsthand story as he helped save the life of a young Iraqi girl, and how her family defied cultural norms to save their daughter. Plus, how a University of Montana Journalism school alum learned some important insight from inside a Missoula hospital emergency room, and a lesson in journalistic ethics. Below are two stories that I consider a must-read.
Verina Palmer writes how she cringed when she read the news that National Public Radio and other outlets falsely reported that Congresswoman Giffords was killed in the shooting. She added this:
It’s tough being a reporter on the street. I’ve been there, scratching for information, listening to conflicting stories and following false leads. Chaos is the mother of misinformation, so the journalist’s job is to gather and verify the facts, not to offer conjecture or perpetuate rumor. Unfortunately, with the public’s proclivity for instant information, digital journalists have developed a “get it now, update it later” mentality.
The ongoing news coverage of the Tucson shooting has reminded me of the many people rushed through Missoula’s ER doors. Some patients probably shouldn’t have made it. Others simply should not have died. I mean, how does a razor-tipped hunting arrow pierce a man’s torso yet miss every vital organ? He walked away with a scar and a story to tell his grandkids, but a young soccer player who took a knee to the head never regained consciousness. He should have been discharged with a lump on his forehead and a headache. Instead, he suffered brain death and eventually was removed from life support. I recall the neurosurgeon saying he actually died from a brain aneurysm that possibly ruptured on impact, although there’s no way to know for sure. The doctor said it might have burst before he ever fell to the ground. Either way, it would have killed him.
What I learned from all these souls, aside from life being a crapshoot, is that anything can happen and everyone has an unwritten story.
I hope people are taking the time to read the real stories of this tragedy about the valiant husbands who tried to shield their sweethearts; a little girl intrigued by the political process of the free world; and the heroes who took down the shooter, tended to the bleeding victims and saved the life of a public servant.
Click here for the full article.
And, from the Helena IR:
The father grabbed the girl’s dress and lifted it to her shoulders, displaying burns from her feet to her chest. She was the victim of a flash burn from a propane stove.
Stockton, who was 20 at the time, set his rifle on the floor and removed his helmet. He rolled up his sleeves, with the only thought being that he had to help this girl. Stockton, a machine gunner, was armed with basic medical training and a bag filled with supplies.
The girl sat with her legs crossed underneath her, wincing in anguish as her mother clung to her side. Stockton knew he had to straighten out her legs in order to apply burn-treatment pads. He motioned to the mother what he needed and pulled one leg out.
Stockton got about 20 feet from the house when the girl came sprinting out of the house.
“She just wrapped her arms around me and the M16. I’ve never had anyone do this. I have a M16 and a bulletproof plate,” he said.
The girl kept repeating “thank you, thank you” in Arabic.
Click here for full article.