American Patriots Unsung Magazine Issue 6 - Page 20

JAY DOBYNS 20 The standard protocol for “calling death” by medical units attempting to revive a patient that has flatlined is typically done by the six to seven-minute mark. This is because that’s the point where catastrophic brain hemorrhage starts to set in. Mantz had flatlined for fifteen minutes and awoke with no trace of brain damage and full recollection of the events that killed him. The surgeon operating under less than optimal conditions in the Green Zone performed a perfect vascular surgery the first time. Mantz required 30 units of blood. Because of a shortage of blood at the time, Mantz required 30 units of blood. Because of a shortage of blood at the time, military soldiers were pulled in from around the base to provide direct transfers in a last ditch effort to save his life. military soldiers were pulled in from around the base to provide direct transfers in a last ditch effort to save his life. Whether you believe in divine appointment, divine providence, fate, or that “shit just happens,” doesn’t change the fact that Mantz remaining this side of dirt is a miracle. He does not know the reason that he lived and Marlon Harper did not; why some of the best people with families and children die and the single risk-taking rebel with an unethical lifestyle always seems to survive unscathed. Like cancer, striking without mercy or prejudice, we may never know the reason behind the answers we seek. Our mission on earth, for however long we get to live it, demands that we should treat each day we are given to the best of our ability because the inevitability of our demise is certain and the day of its calling is not our own. Mantz has struggled from the guilt associated with life’s inequalities. He does not understand why as a single soldier on his first deployment he pulled the long straw and a five-tour combat veteran under his command did not. At Walter Reed Medical Center, when he saw a beautiful, young, twenty-year-old blond pushing her double amputee fiancé through the halls of the hospital, he could not reconcile his recovery with the absolute unfairness of those less fortunate. The emotional pain over the years that followed was crippling. He had suicidal death spirals that brought him close to finding ultimate peace; he longed for death and even planned it. If not for the personal connection 21 Just consider: The defibrillator paddles that the medical team used to save Mantz’s life had only arrived at the base that morning. They had to be removed from the packaging to be used on him. The person with the endurance to perform the chest compressions on Mantz for fifteen minutes just happened to be a former football lineman who was about 250 pounds. His days at Walter Reed were challenging. He was one of the few that would leave that hos- pital able to return to duty.