Some stories and some realities should never come together. This is one example of that. What a horrific nightmare that war brings, especially when new protective technology and medical methods can keep people alive longer and treat wounds that would have never in the past have been treatable. Sounds like a humane form of human experimentation on what you can do to a human body and still survive. Statistics.
The punishment goes from patient to doctor to family as the trauma of one severe injury to the next is repeated over and over again. Plus to justify it, you have to get permission to operate from family. The whole thing is just nightmare making and no way for people to have to live. When will the insanity end?
Chung woke from a quick nap on his office couch the morning after the five badly burned soldiers arrived, and walked down the hall to check on them.
All were stable. But the news quickly turned grim.
One soldier went into shock. His heart, lungs and kidneys failed. He died without regaining consciousness.
With burns, Chung says, patients can rally, then suddenly take a turn for the worse -- all the while dealing with excruciating pain.
"I can't think of a more devastating injury," he says. "In the most tragic instances a lot of us say to ourselves ... sometimes life is worse than death."
Of the five burn patients, one was transferred out of intensive care.
The "hero" was rebounding, too. Then an infection set in -- and he died.
Within three weeks, four of the five were gone.
Chung had lost patients before, but each one, he says, leaves him shaken.
"You walk a tightrope," he says. "I tell the family members that they need to be realistic. At the same time, I don't want to be the person to take away hope. How can you justify giving up on anybody?"
Sounds too much like the German experiments on Jews, except this is on volunteers.
This is a real life horror movie we can't close our eyes on and hope it will go away. This is one we have the power to stop. All we have to do is commit to ending war. It may be our hardest obstacle to overcome, but surely our sanity and reason can persevere over this kind of human tragedy that has no end.
Surely we can come to terms with ourselves, our anger, hatred and greed, our nonchalant acceptance of human misery as inevitable? Or is that the real horror movie we want to close our eyes on and hope and pray it goes away?