9 inch knife in the head - piece of cake!
Some boys are tough (and lucky)...
Soldier survives bizarre injury thanks to heroics and a bit of tech
By Jennifer Pifer
- Story Highlights
- Sgt. Dan Powers is a squad leader with the 118th Military Police Company
- He was stabbed in the head with a nine-inch knife
- Thanks to fast-acting medical professionals, Powers survived
- Today, he sometimes takes aspirin for the headaches but that's all
FORT BRAGG, North Carolina (CNN) -- It takes a few moments to notice the dent in Sgt. Dan Powers' head, a place where he was stabbed with a nine-inch blade while patrolling the streets of the Iraqi capital.
During his dozen years in the Army, Powers has witnessed a lot. But what happened to him this summer is nothing short of miraculous.
On July 2, Powers, a squad leader in the 118th Military Police Company out of Fort Bragg, and his unit were called to investigate a report of a late afternoon explosion in a Baghdad neighborhood. For the unit, it wasn't anything they hadn't seen before. They were on their second tour of duty in Iraq to train Iraqi police officers.
The explosion was minor and Powers walked away from the area to deal with the crowd that had gathered.
It was then that Powers felt something hit his head.
"I wondered briefly if I had been shot," he says. Watch doctors discover the knife in Powers' head (Viewer discretion is advised.) »
In reality, Powers had been stabbed in the head. And the nine-inch knife was still stuck into the right side of his cranium.
Powers' fellow soldiers jumped into action. They loaded him into a Humvee and sped off to their "home base."
There, medics carefully wrapped his wound, covering the knife with a Styrofoam cup. See X-rays, photos of knife in Powers' head (Viewer discretion is advised.) »
"I was bleeding," said Powers, "but not in any kind of pain."
Powers was rushed to the Green Zone. From there, a helicopter took him to a hospital in Balad, a top notch treatment center in Iraq. While en route, a fellow soldier called Powers' wife Trudy.
"I kind of flipped out," Trudy Powers remembered. She also insisted that she talk with her husband.
"I told her I loved her and that I'm going to be OK," Powers recalled.
At the time, Trudy Powers had no idea her husband had a knife sticking out of his head.When she found out what had happened, Trudy Powers says with a laugh "you don't want to hear what I said."
After that brief conversation with his wife, Powers arrived at Balad Hospital. An X-ray revealed the knife entered just below his helmet, above his cheekbone, dangerously close to his temporal lobe.
It also pierced his cavernous sinus, nicking the internal carotid artery.
"The knife was acting like a cork," said Lt. Col. Dr. Richard Teff, the neurosurgeon who operated on Powers.
It's then that Teff and a team of other doctors needed to make a critical decision: pull the brain back to clamp the artery in Powers' cavernous sinus or just pull the knife out.
Teff pulled the knife out. Powers began bleeding profusely.
"Everybody in the room thought I wasn't going to make it," Powers said.
Thousands of miles away in Washington, D.C., Lt. Col. Dr. Rocco Armonda, was pulled over on the side of the highway.
An Army vascular neurosurgeon, Armonda was looking at images on his laptop in real time, as the surgery was happening. His advice to the team in Iraq: close the sergeant up and get him to the National Naval Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland, immediately.
The non-stop flight from Iraq to the United States took 13 hours.
Once at Bethesda, Powers was rushed into surgery.
The neurosurgical team coiled the carotid artery and performed cranioplasty on skull. For four days, Powers was in a drug-induced coma. Doctors feared he would wake up with brain damage or blind.
Remarkably, he only had problems with his balance.
Powers spent a month at Bethesda. During that time, he testified via videoconference in the trial of the man who stabbed him.
The Army sergeant is now home in North Carolina. Powers says he still gets pretty bad headaches, but that a couple of aspirin makes them go away. Doctors will perform another surgery in January.
"It is amazing a person can tolerate this," Teff said on Powers' recovery.
Powers hopes to rejoin his unit as a squad leader in the spring.
Looking back at what happened, Powers is still amazed. "Everything had to be there," Powers says, "the right place, the right time, the right equipment .... I am humbled by the lengths that the military went ... to save me."
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"Bruce Lee sucks because I slammed my nuts with nunchucks trying to do that stupid **** back in the day. I still managed to have two kids. I forgive you Bruce."
- by Vorpal
Don't forget Michael Hill!
Originally Posted by jnp
I hope that swelling is the reason for the fat head.
All of this shows me just one thing... the human being is incredibly hard to kill. Note to self, whenever any MA or MA expert claims that they have 100% lethal strikes, think of these two pictures. If a knife to the brain won't kill a man, no single strike will guarantee a kill either.
****, you beat me to it. I'm sigging this good **** thread for that exact purpose.
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The street argument is retarded. BJJ is so much overkill for the street that its ridiculous. Unless you're the idiot that picks a fight with the high school wrestling team, barring knife or gun play, the opponent shouldn't make it past double leg + ground and pound - Osiris
Don't forget phineas gage!
Originally Posted by sdave
Just going to tag long on this one.
A friend of mine just entered Ranger school. During night land nav he fell and SOMEHOW a small branch went into his ear and ruptured his eardrum. He tried to stand up, got dizzy, and fell down. He got the attention of someone in the area, presumably by yelling, and then passed out.
Yes but Phineas Gage had more after-effects then simple head-aches. He suffered severe mental damage(hell he had a steel bar shot through his head). He was actually the main cause of the Labotomy, as scientist thought they may be on to something. Unfortunately for Mr Gage his brain damage, as well as leading to impaired function, also turned a man who was initially described as "meek" and "gentle" into a criminal sociopath. I would put that way above minor headaches requiring asprin as an after effect. Then again having a 3'X1.25" rod blasted through your head definitely does show the resliance of human organism. Again I am forced to call into question many of Karate's one strike kills.
Originally Posted by BSDaemon
That's why the Army uses "controlled pairs" when firing, if not 2 in the chest, 1 in the head. It's just too easy for someone to survive one round, especially a fmj that won't deform or tumble upon entry.
Originally Posted by bushi_no_ki
Especially a 9mm, and that is why I won't have one. Give me a .45.
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