Thursday, June 7, 2012

 

Community News

Riding The Road To Recovery   

Injured soldier the recipient of a specially designed motorcycle from CAV

Submitted by Barry Drews, CAV Ubique Chilliwack for the father of Dan Scott/Images courtesy of Michael Yon

 

Bombardier Dan Scott being airlifted out after suffering serious injuries in Afghanistan.

 

an Scott is now 26 years old and is still a reservist with the 15 Field Artillery Regiment based in Vancouver, B.C. Dan served two tours of duty in Afghanistan. These tours were done on "Class C" contract agreements. tours of duty in Afghanistan.

 

Prior to putting his education plans on hold to serve his country overseas, Dan was a college student at Kwantlen Polytechnical University in Surrey, B.C. Danís goal was to either join the police department or become involved in the outdoor guiding business, eventually with a business interest in the company.

To facilitate this goal Dan was in above average physical and mental health. Dan had undergone training and attended street ride-a-long sessions with the police. In addition, Dan was an avid hiker, skier, rock and ice climber, and all-around wilderness expert.

Dan has one sister, Michelle (30), who is an environmental consultant working now as a project manager for a BC wind farm project. His younger brother, Robert (24), is a business student at Kwantlen Polytechnical University in Surrey, B.C. Danís mother, Holly, works for ICBC on litigated bodily injury cases. Danís father, Jim, is now a police officer and was previously an airline pilot.

Born in Surrey BC, Dan first started school in France while his family lived there when his father was a pilot based in Paris. Later Dan went to a British school while his family lived in Hong Kong. When his family moved back to Canada, Dan couldnít wait until he turned 12 so he could join Air Cadets, where he rose to Warrant Officer. At 17 years old, Dan joined the 15 Field Artillery Regiment. As a college student and a reservist Dan felt it was his duty to go to Afghanistan to support Canadaís efforts overseas.

Service Related Injury

On February 12, 2010, Dan was serving his second tour of duty in Afghanistan. He was required to attend a routine training session at the Kankala Range, Daman District, Kandahar, Afghanistan, OP Athena.

Dan was to train with his platoon who had recently fell victim of an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) strike on December 30, 2009. Four soldiers were killed and five persons were seriously wounded along with the death of journalist Michelle Lang.

During this February 12, 2010 training session, C19 Remote Weapons Systems (claymore mines) were being discharged. Dan knew the training range had been set-up improperly.

After a C19 exploded at close range, Dan began to move to a position of cover behind an armoured vehicle. Dan stopped to advise Cpl. Josh Baker to also take cover. At that moment, another C19 went off, the pellets travelled in the wrong direction and came back on the attending soldiers. Cpl. Baker and Dan were critically injured. Dan was hit with numerous pellets, one of which went through his body armour and through his chest. Several other soldiers were also hit, including three that were airlifted to the Role 3 Hospital due to injuries.

Danís rib was fractured, his lung was collapsed, and his kidney, spleen and pancreas were damaged. Both Dan and Cpl. Baker were the first soldiers to be airlifted by helicopter from the training range to Kandahar for emergency medical treatment. Dan was conscious for this flight as his friend, Cpl. Baker, died in the helicopter.

At the Kandahar Air Field, Role 3 Hospital, Dan underwent emergency surgery where an 11 inch incision was made in his abdomen. As Dan had lost 1.5 litres of blood, his life was in danger due to blood loss. Thereby, the surgeons removed his left kidney, his spleen and the tail of his pancreas. Dan was listed as very seriously injured - the final category of trauma before death. As the result of this operation he had tubes into his chest to deal with the lung injury and tubes into his abdomen to deal with toxic fluids leaking out of the remaining portion of his pancreas.

Dan was transported by air with an American Critical Transport Team, accompanied by a US journalist, who described Dan as the only truly critical patient on the flight. This team took Dan to the Bagram Air Base. Dan was then transported by air to the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Ramstein, Germany. In Germany, Dan had additional surgeries and his abdomen was eventually closed up.

On February 20, 2010, Dan was flown to Vancouver by a Canadian Air Force aircraft, with a full medical team. Once in Vancouver, Dan was admitted into the burns and plastics unit at the Vancouver General Hospital. Later in the hospital, the pellet that damaged him was removed.

In the hospital Dan developed a pancreatic burn. Enzymes from his pancreas were leaking into his abdomen, a potentially serious condition. Dan was immediately taken for an oral scope to install a shunt.

Once released from hospital Dan still had abdominal drainage tubes and was in a lot of pain. He remained at his parentís home for one full day, but was re-admitted into the Vancouver General Hospital after experiencing severe pain. Tests determined that he had an abdominal staph infection caused by the staphylococcus aureus bacteria, which required a lengthy hospital treatment of intravenous antibiotics.

Today, Dan is still on a medical extension of his class C contract as he requires additional operations to attempt to improve his stomach range of motion, which is restricted due to scaring. However, Dan is working hard to be kept in the military. He 3

runs, weight trains and stretches every day. Danís goal is to live as normal a life as he can, and to stay in the military as a reservist Ė that decision is coming this fall.

Motorcycle Reciprocate

After his injuries, Dan has tried to ride. However, his stomach mobility issues have created problems for him. As a result, he has parked one bike in the garage and has sold his other bike. Pending improvements in motion, Dan is limited to what type of bike he can ride. A specially built bike would get him back onto the road.

It should be noted that Dan is a survivor of a platoon of forty young men who during their tour of duty in the Afghan War suffered a causality count of four killed and five seriously injured and permanently impaired (nearly 25%). Dan calls himself the luckiest, unlucky soldier in the war as a pellet that would have finished him off, hit and was embedded in the vertical bar of his belt buckle. Next to his bed Dan has the pellet that went through him causing all the damage and the pellet that never got to go through him as it is now welded into his belt buckle.

Also, it was Danís concern for his disabled colleagues which created the motivation for his father and others from his community to start the Equitas Society, a society seeking improved benefits for disabled soldiers.

On June 9th, Dan is on a military course in Manitoba, which canít accommodate his absence to personally receive this great gift. Thereby, his mother, who has lived through the "knock on the door", and has nursed her son back to his current condition, will receive this special gift on behalf of her son. Yet, always Danís mother is mindful that her son survived, other mothers paid a much higher price.

Editors Note: Watch the Voice next week for more on this great story.

 

 

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