When Dr. Amy Reese talks about her recent service as a Navy doctor in Kandahar, Afghanistan, tending war wounded, she says the most interesting part of the duty were the “saves.”
That’s her term for the patients who suffered very serious gunshot wounds, the ones that she thought were not going to make it.
“Generally, if we can maintain circulation, we at least try to get them to Germany,” Reese said. “Some of them were saved. We didn’t think they were going to make it, and they did.”
Sometimes the team of doctors back in Afghanistan would hear, “This guy woke up. He’s talking to his family,” Reese said.
And sometimes Reese got to meet some of the people she saved.
“You really get emotional when you see these people,” Reese said.
Reese, 44, a Perkins Township resident, was away from her job as as Firelands Regional Medical Center cancer specialist for about a year, from November 2013 to November 2014. For eight months, Reese, a commander in the Naval Reserve, was on duty as a doctor in a NATO hospital in Kandahar.
She spent much of her time practicing medicine and also worked as an administrator, supervising trauma teams.
She didn’t use her cancer expertise very often, but instead deployed her skills as a general physician.