COMMENTS: Kimberly’s Silver Hammer

ABC celebrated a happy anniversary, Charles Gibson's first year as permanent anchor at World News and CBS observed a sad one: it is one year since correspondent Kimberly Dozier was maimed by a carbomb in Baghdad and her two crewmen, soundman James Brolan and camerman Paul Douglas, were killed.

Dozier marked her return to reporting with a preview of Flashpoint her primetime special documentary on medical care for disabled Iraq War veterans, as seen through the empathetic eyes of her own convalescence. Military medicine is encountering new types or wounds and illnesses, "problems doctors do not always know how to solve," because casualties were so much more likely to die in previous wars. Dozier rattled off survival statistics for those wounded in Iraq (90%) compared with Vietnam (75%), Korea (76%), WWII (70%). The reporter has turned activist, testifying before a Senate committee in favor of stepped-up research into injuries of the extremities.

There is a new kind of infection, acinetobacter, whose agonies she shared with a fellow patient, Sgt Nathan Reed, who was wounded in the same blast as Dozier. Acinetobacter forced Reed to have one leg amputated while Dozier kept both of hers after a total of 25 surgeries--and suffered the excruciating pain of her legs' convoluted regeneration. Dozier showed us X-rays of the jagged spikes and knobs of bone growth, "healing gone haywire." She then showed how her legs were treated--a surgeon smoothed them down with a metal hammer and chisel. We kid you not.


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