Friday, May 2, 2008

Iraqi lieutenant gets prosthetic limb

by Tami Hillis
4th Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division Public Affairs Office

FOB KALSU, Iraq (April 25, 2008) – At about 12:46 p.m., Jan. 10, everything changed for one Iraqi Army special forces platoon leader. While on a joint mission with coalition forces, the 8th IA Division Soldier was struck by an improvised explosive device as he crossed a pedestrian footbridge on the east side of Route Minnesota in the Chaka Four Region. First Lt. Mohy Ali lost his right foot and sustained trauma to his right wrist in the attack.

A little more than three months later, Soldiers from 4th Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, are helping the 42-year-old soldier get his life back to normal, one step at a time. Capt. Jacob Turnquist, the 4th BCT surgeon, identified a clinic near the Combat Support Hospital in Baghdad, where Mohy was originally treated, that specializes in getting prosthetics for Iraqis.

The IA Surgeon General’s Office Prosthetics Clinic is run by Iraqis, with American civil affairs support. Turnquist contacted the clinic and spoke with Chris Cummings, a retired Army medic and a prosthetist in the prosthetics clinic. Cummings, who is also an adviser for Multi-National Security Transition Command – Iraq, assisted the unit with the process.

Chris Cummings, a prosthetist in the IA surgeon general's office prosthetics clinic in Baghdad, runs some tests on 1st Lt. Mohy Ali's limb during an initial visit on April 21. Mohy, an IA soldier, lost his foot during an IED attack on Jan. 10 while on a joint mission with Coalition forces. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Tami Hillis)The next step was linking Mohy up with coalition forces in his area, which was done through Staff Sgt. Alfonza Chatfield, a medic with the 31st Military Transition Team, 4th Brigade Special Troops Battalion, in al-Hillah, Iraq. Mohy was escorted to the Green Zone, Baghdad, on April 21 by Chatfield, an 18-year veteran and Georgia native, to the prosthetics clinic.

Cummings checked Mohy’s limb to ensure it had healed properly. Cummings then manually measured different parts of the limb. Next, with the use of a computer-aided design program, he created a three-dimensional view of Mohy’s limb on a computer. Between the manual measurements and the program, Cummings generated a close representation of the limb. With the information gathered from this first trip, Cummings will create a prosthetic foot for Mohy, which will be fitted during the next visit.

“I’m a commander and I want to get back with my soldiers,” Mohy said. “I want to be able to walk and run again.”

Chris Cummings, a prosthetist in the IA surgeon general's office prosthetics clinic in Baghdad, runs some tests on 1st Lt. Mohy Ali's limb during an initial visit on April 21. Mohy, an IA soldier, lost his foot during an IED attack on Jan. 10 while on a joint mission with Coalition forces. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Tami Hillis).

Source: CENTCOM. Digg! Digg!

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