Source - A Ukrainian soldier has had successful surgery to remove an unexploded grenade from his chest, senior officials in Kyiv have said.
Surgeons removed the weapon from just beneath the heart of the injured serviceman, while two sappers ensured the operation was conducted safely, said Hanna Maliar, Ukraine’s deputy minister of defence, who uploaded an image apparently showing an X-ray of the ordnance inside the soldier’s body. ...
Anton Gerashchenko, Ukraine’s internal affairs ministerial adviser ... described the procedure as one that would “go down in medical textbooks”.
The operation was carried out without using electrocoagulation — a common method to control bleeding during surgery — because “the grenade could detonate at any moment”, Maliar said. ... The soldier has since been sent for further rehabilitation and recovery.
There are two parts to this story. One is the obvious lesson about the horrors of war. War in general, but particularly the style the Russians have historically used and continue to today. Where it's all about numbers. Where their "strategy" is to just throw as many bodies into the meat grinder as they can until they overwhelm their opposition. Casualty count be damned.
Second is the under appreciated valor of army surgeons. Sure, we get depictions of the work they do in fiction. M*A*S*H most famously. The medical tent scene in Gone With the Wind. The ship's doctor having to operate on himself in Master and Commander. Medic Wade's gut-wrenching (spoiler) death in Saving Private Ryan. But it's just not possible for film to accurately capture the horrors they have to face in real combat. Or the miracles they perform.
Then, there's what this Ukrainian surgical team had to face. This was these portrayals plus the movie trope of a secret agent having to disarm a bomb. Only with the case the bomb is in being an actual living, breathing human fighting for his life. And they did it without the aid of electrowhatever. So between the fact the grenade could go off at any time, they had to remove it without killing the patient, and had to figure out a way to keep him from bleeding out with nothing but clamps and sutures, what could go wrong?
Just try this mental exercise for a second. Think of the worst day you've ever had on your job. What was it? You got yelled at by your boss? Got injured? Blew a sale? Accidentally deleted a file and lost a bunch of work? Forgot to include something that struck you as funny when you were writing up a football game? Fine. Now replace that day with the time you had to dislodge and disarm a live explosive round out of another human being's rib cage without killing, him, yourself, and everyone in the operating room.
I don't know what a Ukrainian Army doctor or nurse makes. But I imagine there aren't a lot of millionaires in the ranks. Hopefully whatever it is, it's worth the superhuman nerves it takes to pull off what they did. And I think we all need to remember this surgical team next time we're hearing about some criminal bitcoin frauds living in a creepy orgy mansion in the Bahamas while pissing away other people's life savings.
Finally, let's hope Putin hears about this. And realizes any people capable of surgically removing a live round from a man's body like they're taking out his appendix can't be defeated, so he calls the whole thing off.