GHAZNI PROVINCE, Afghanistan – During a routine medical capabilities check of a local district, a Ghazni Provincial Reconstruction Team medic saved a young boy’s life.
After checking on the local clinic and several pharmacies during a patrol in Quara Baugh District, Afghanistan, U.S. Army Sgt. Dennis Magnasco, a medic from East Boston, Mass. assigned to Ghazni PRT, Task Force White Eagle, heard two Afghan boys had been injured and were in the local clinic.
Upon arriving at the clinic Magnasco discovered one boy had minor injuries, while the other had shrapnel in his abdomen, torso and upper arm.
“The doctor was prepared to let the boy go home, but because he was still bleeding through his bandages, I asked if I could help. The doctor agreed,” Magnasco said.
After getting permission from the local doctor, Magnasco further cleaned the wound, controlled the bleeding and gave the boy antibiotics.
“I was concerned about infection,” he said. “I gave him enough antibiotics to prevent infection for the next 24 hours.”
The medic also explained to the boy’s father how to redress the wound, and provided gauze. For a medic used to treating infantrymen, the experience was difficult.
“It really sucked to see a little boy injured. At one point he held his hand out to me and I didn’t know what to do, so I just stood there and held his hand,” he said. “But, I’m glad I was there, because I feel I significantly increased his chance of survival against infection.”
At the very least, he made one little boy feel better.
“It hurt a lot when (Magnasco) first saw me, but not so much now,” he said. “Thank you.”