Archive for July 19th, 2010

Let’s hear a round of applause for a cooperative effort between Afghans and Americans at the National Military Hospital in Kabul … and not only because we have two hands to clap with.

Abandoned as a baby, 12-year-old Haidar has never buttoned a shirt, held a pencil or combed his hair. Born without hands, Haidar has only been able to use his wrists and forearms to pick up objects and manipulate his environment; he has never been able to care for himself properly.

Having neither the expertise nor the facilities at the hospital in Afghanistan to construct hands for this boy, a doctor from the US Navy has been invited to do what Vincent Price was unable to do for Edward.

By July, one month after U.S. Navy Capt. Jerone Landstrom – a surgeon specializing in hand and microsurgery – arrived, Haidar has undergone an operation on his left hand and, while he’ll never have a normal hand, it is now functional.

When in the land of the blind the one-eyed man is king, so there’s little doubt that this young man’s life and prospects have improved tremendously, and with his case building bridges that span between medical professionals the advantages may be far-reaching.

Given how much time Afghans and Americans spend pointing fingers of blame at each other and palming off responsibility for the horrible things happening in Afghanistan daily, it’s great to see some people from both nations working hand-in-hand.

Okay. Okay. I’m done with the word play … although armed with such handy material I can hardly thumb my nose at the chance …but this is hands down my favorite story in today’s news.

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