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Naik Naresh Raut  a 28 year soldier of 42 Rashtriya Rifles, who sustained a severe gun shot wound on 27 Jan 15 while fighting the terrorists,  has rejoined his unit thanks to efforts of the dedicated team of surgeons who have committed themselves to returning dignity to war wounded. Military Hospital Kirkee in effect, is a nation’s committment to a soldier, and an honest attempt to honour his deed in battle. And the way the Nation stands by its soldiers is by attempting to return greiviously wounded battle casuality back to his unit if possible, otherwise at least make him competent to live his life with dignity.

To most of us, even a minor cut is a major inconvenience and has to be tackled with antisceptic, anti tetanus and may be range of anti biotics. A soldier walks into the danger of being mortally wounded fully conscsious, for a task assigned to him. Getting grieviouly wounded is constant risk that he must accept to carry out his duties and Srinagar and Pathankot incidents are recent testimony to this. While personal bravery is underlying in a soldiers attitude, however, it is immensely comforting for him to know that there is team that would do any thing in the world to make sure he returns to his normal life to the limits possible while figuratively speaking, he is sticking his neck out. This is the noble task that MH Kirkee has been assigned, and the surgeons here are conscisous of their immense responsibility.

The wounds, like the explosions and their effects are random. While explaining the task, the commandant of the hospital Brigadier  HS  Agarwal mentioned that each wound is unique and is taken as a herculean challenge. Doctors are conscious that one misstep could ruin a life. So, there is a system of collective discussion on plans to follow for the operation as also post operative care. Brigadier Agarwal further explains that in medicine, miracles do happen, but it helps  the miracle to happen if the doctors are competent and focussed only on recovery of the patient.

MH Kirkee is a 846 bed hospital and specialises on orthopedic and spinal injury cases. More than 6000 operations are performed every year. Cutting edge technologies like stem cell therapy, arthroscopic procedures  and ceramic techniques are being routinely undertaken in this hospital. MH Kirkee is an evolved version of an Indo Burma General Hospital established in 1940 to look after convalescing casualities of second world war. From a modest aim in the begining, it has grown into the largest facility for spinal injuries in entire South East Asia.

Over the years, lot of supporting infrastructure has also come about and two such institutions are affilated to this hospital, namely Queen Mary’s Technical Institute and Paraplegic Rehabilitation Centre. It is to the credit of the hospital that some of the patients of this hospital, post recovery have distinguished themselves in service and sports.

The commandant pointed out that improvement in existing facilities is a constant battle. Recently a proposal for new accomadation which would greatly facilitate working of the hospital has been accepted. As a surgeon and as a commandant of an institution that abides by motto ’disablity to ability’ he feels, he and his team of dedicated professionals are blessed and have the unique priviledge of treating wounded comrades and  returning soldiers to where he belongs, ie, his unit. And it is well worth the battle the army doctors fight in operation theatres and the long hours they put in.