The Chance To Walk Again

November 4, 2007

If one reads the newspapers or listens to the news, all we hear are stories about how are Troops are killing and injuring innocent Iraqis. We never hear about the caring and kindness displayed by our Troops, even though it’s something that occurs on a daily basis. We never hear about the medical missions that our Troops daily conduct to provide health-care to the Iraqis, or the food and water they provide, or the simple acts of kindness that they display. I believe that these stories provide a clearer understanding of the men and women who are serving our country in the nations Armed Forces. These stories paint a much different picture of what our Troops are doing and a much more accurate one. There are thousands of stories about the acts of kindness by our Troops towards the Iraqi people. Because the media, looks the other way when it comes to these types of stories, I feel it’s my duty to ensure that our readers are made aware of them.

Thanks to the kindness of strangers, strangers from Troop A, 3rd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, 3rd HBCT, 3rd ID, a young Iraqi women will finally be able to realize her dreams. Everytime she puts on her shoes and walks to the market or chases her cousins around the house, Soham Hassan Ka-Naan will remember her 19th birthday and the kindness of those strangers.

Soham Hassan Ka-Naan, a 19 year old double amputee, gets help standing from her brother, Khalid Hassan Ka-Naan, in their home in Al Arabia Oct. 30th(Photo by Sgt Natalie Rostek, 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs).

Three years ago, when an insurgent rocket attack hit her house, Soham was left with her left leg amputated below the knee and her right leg amputated near her hip. Despite efforts to repair her wounds by Iraqi doctors, the remnants of bones in her legs caused her considerable pain when the rubbed against her skin.

On October 31st, her 19th birthday, Soham underwent surgery to correct her two amputated legs at the 28th Combat Support Hospital (CSH) in Baghdad. The surgery will allow her to have a comfortable prosthetic fit and will enable her to walk on her own. The day before her surgery, the shy young Iraqi woman was quiet, but not nervous.

“I’m excited,” she said through an interpreter. “My only dream is to walk on my own. No crutches, no wheelchair, just walk. I’ll be able to do that soon.”

While conducting a raid, Soldiers from Troop A, 3rd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment discovered Soham. They decided that they would go back to help her. Initially, she was brought to the 28th CSH for a prosthetic fitting. She was fitted with her left leg prosthetic shortly after that, but it felt uncomfortable and caused her pain, due to the rigidness of the bones in her legs.

Troops checked her progress regularly. Captain Troy Thomas, commander of 3-1 Cav. Regiment, visited her again and on October 30th brought her to the Baghdad hospital again. This time, she visited with Lt. Col. John Tis, a surgeon with the 28th CSH. Lt. Col. Tis reassessed her amputations and agreed to perform surgery that would round out the bones in her legs and stretch the muscles.

“This surgery is the beginning of her entire future,” said Chris Cummings, a prosthetic clinical advisor, 28th CSH. “With the surgery, her prosthetics will have a healthier fit.”

After the surgery, Soham spent two nights in the hospital and will have an approximately 3 week recovery period. She will then be fitted for prosthetics once again. She will then begin the process of learning how to walk on her new legs.

“Everyone is different, but in three to six months, she will be able to walk on her new legs. In nine months she should be completely recovered,” Tis said.

Everyone has high hopes from Soham, including Captain Thomas. Soham’s brother accompanied her to the hospital. According to her brother, Khalid, she is in for a huge welcome home party, when released from the hospital.

“She’s a strong girl,” said Captain Thomas. “Her mother reassured me that she does her exercises like she’s supposed to. I think she’s going to recover just fine.”

The 3-1 Cav. Regiment has been deployed to Iraq since March of last year. I’m sure, before they leave the country, they’ll have made several more visits to Soham, to ensure that she’s recovering well. I can imagine the delight that they’ll feel, when they’re able to see Soham walk for the first time on her new legs and how good they’ll feel about being able to do something to make a difference in this young woman’s life. I’m sure that Soham, will never forget the kindness of these American strangers and the difference they made in her life.



8 Responses to “The Chance To Walk Again”

  1. Twana Blevins on November 4th, 2007 1:40 pm

    Thanks for sharing this excellent story with us!

    Everyday I am more and more proud of our Troops - they have the biggest hearts full of compassion and love.

  2. Terri on November 4th, 2007 3:50 pm

    Yes they sure do. Every story like this that I read, makes me more and more proud of the things that they’re accomplishing over there.

  3. » The Chance To Walk Again on November 5th, 2007 12:53 am

    [...] Terri placed an interesting blog post on The Chance To Walk Again.Here’s a brief overview:We never hear about the medical missions that our Troops daily conduct to provide health-care to the Iraqis, or the food and water they provide, or the simple acts of kindness that they display. I believe that these stories provide a … [...]

  4. sharron on November 7th, 2007 4:41 pm

    You should really circulate this more widely to the press. It is an inspirational story and so far only Fox News has picked it up. Good luck and please print more of these stories!

  5. Terri on November 7th, 2007 6:34 pm

    We plan to continue to print these types of stories Sharron. One of our goals here is to make sure that the things the media ignores, is out there for the public to read about. They have access to this very same information, yet chose to ignore it.

  6. Penny Thomas on November 8th, 2007 8:22 pm

    We have been watching this article and hearing from our son, Capt Thomas on this young lady. He truly believes that this compassionate attitude of our troops is helping win the war on terrorism. Let’s keep our troops in our prayers. Penny Thomas

  7. Terri on November 8th, 2007 8:39 pm

    I fully agree with your son Penny. Please share our heartfelt appreciation with your son for his service and sacrifice.

  8. Amy Neal on November 11th, 2007 11:49 am

    I just saw this story on Fox News. Capt.
    Thomas, you are an angel! There’s a crown in heaven for you. You are such an inspiration. Thank you to you and your fellow soldiers for helping this woman, and most importantly, thank you for volunteering to serve our county. I am forever in debt to you.
    Amy Neal
    Orange, CA

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