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Continued from previous issues


GUARDIANS OF LIFE: MEDICSThe staff of the field hospital speaks with great love about Manuk Asaturyan, the youngest medic in the field hospital: about his courage and selflessness in the war. The young man who had just entered the service had gone to the battlefield.

“I was enlisted on September 8, 2020 the medical battalion. I entered the service at 9 o’clock. On the 23rd we celebrated my 21st birthday. I had not yet joined the staff. Staff with its unique jokes, communication style. “Everything was strange to me,” says Manuk. “None of us knew that in a few days we would all go to war and connect with each other with very strong threads…”

The child speaks calmly, as if the events he is talking about have only a distant relationship with him.

“Doctor Melanya Melkumyan,” Manuk recalls, “was always a smile on her face, a source of joy and kindness.” Every time Narek or I went to fetch the wounded, she would put two sneakers in our bags so that we could leave with “sweetness”. Once, before we left, he was in the operating room, instructing a senior nurse to do this “sacred” work. She had forgotten in his thousand and one deeds, Melanya was seriously upset until he came back safe and sound.

The commander of our platoon, Harut Hovhannisyan, thought I was new, I was not ready yet, he was in no hurry to send me out. On the 29th, when all medics were out, they reported new wounded, I was the only free medic. Of course, there was a lot of work in the hospital, I was helping, but as a medic, I had not yet left. Harut became suspicious of me. “Can you go?” I said. “Yes, why not, I will go. If I come here, I will do what I can. ” I was going to Jrakan hospital. Narek Mkrtchyan was already there. We went in Sergey’s car. We were waiting for my wounded man to be brought. We waited a long time. Someone from the medical staff was giving a radio message. Suddenly the voice dissappeared, and after a while he shouted. “Air…”: “What does this mean?” I asked. “A plane is approaching.” “Is it ours?” “Of course not”: “What are we going to do?” My question hung in the air. At that moment, two enemy planes flew overhead. “Get in the trench. Soon, it is is on the right.” Narek, I, our two drivers, and the medical staff immediately ran to the trench. When you hear the explosion of a plane bomb, you feel powerless, you can not change anything and you wait, it is something like “Russian roulette”. If one of the bombs fell into a ditch, none of us would survive. The main target that day was probably the military unit, which was very close to the hospital. The bombing stopped, we came out of hiding. We had wounded. Part of the hospital was evacuated immediately. It was not clear whether there would be another bombing or not. I told Narek: “You came earlier than me, give to the wounded, I still have to wait for my wounded.” We waited for 4-5 hours. It was already dark. I called the commander of our battalion. “Arshaluys, can they not bring my wounded?” He said, “Come back.” Our car had already reached the checkpoint of the hospital, when an ambulance passed us and entered the hospital. We returned immediately. He had a severe craniocerebral injury. I quickly gave first aid, stabilized his condition, and set off. The area we were passing through was plain. There were small hills, but the field seemed to be completely in the shore. One kilometer you would meet a hill. I guess they were artificial to cover the road in some places. There were explosions in the distance. Artillery fire started from different directions. After the cessation of the explosions, the unbearable buzz of the drone started, about which we had only heard. The first hit was not far from our car, the second did not hit either. The third fell and exploded right behind our car. Sergo braked automatically. The first and perhaps the right reaction in such cases is to throw yourself out of the car. But there is another sense working there. You are a medical worker, how can you leave the wounded helpless? If I had done that once in those days, I would not have forgiven myself.

GUARDIANS OF LIFE: MEDICSI always kept clean gloves in the car. I got down, picked it up and forgot that we had a wounded man in the car. I was in a state of euphoria that we were still alive. “Hit it, Sergo,” I said happily. Sergo was in the same condition. Laughing, we continued on our way, as if they had hit me on the head with a hammer. I looked back. “How are you”: “I’m fine,” said the wounded man. “Didn’t the benches fall on you?” We usually tied the two broken side seats so that they would not fall. “They fell,” he said. Our wounded man somehow held the benches with both hands. During that time, Sergo was driving at a speed of 120 km / h on the ground. When we remember now, we do not believe how it was possible to go on that road at that speed. “We were in the air halfway,” Manuk laughs. “I somehow got past the wounded man.” The back of the car was damaged, dust was pouring inside. Leaning on one leg, I tried to remove one of the benches from the injured person with the other, tying the other at the same time. Sergon sighed, saw my condition and … could not contain his laughter. I want that wounded boy to read what was written about him and remember how the three of us laughed. He forgot that he was wounded. My brain was no longer working either. I said: “Bring your stretcher a little, it won’t close on you.” Finally I adjusted and tied the benches. Our wounded man with an open craniocerebral injury, after a good laugh, started telling about his girlfriend. I said to him: “You will be demobilized early, you will be engaged. It will be good”: He was excited, he was happy… So, the situation was not hopeless.

“Did you actually save the boy?” I asked.

“We did. In a war, the impossible sometimes becomes possible…”

We had to retreat from Kovsakan to Khndzoresk. I went out that day. We were in Havslu, Aygehovit. We waited for several hours for the wounded man, he was not there. He was ordered to return. Two pickups were coming towards us from the opposite side. Our Arman was still an inexperienced driver. One of the pickups came out of our line one after another. The driver did not have time to brake, the cars collided, our car fell into the nearby gorge. I called and explained the situation. A car was sent from the repair battalion. They came, we tried to repair, but nothing worked, they left. At that moment we did not even think to return with them. How could we leave the car? We were separated by a hill from the frontier. Heavy shelling started in the direction of the hill. The enemy had even approached. The subversive groups had already entered Ishkhanadzor at that time. Our people were hurrying to the hospital to retreat to Kovsakan. Our driver Sergey was the first to remember us in that commotion. The head of the medical service, Vardan, ran after us in his official car. It was not a car, the “war veteran” was a UAZ. While driving, the doors opened and closed on their own. Sergo came and reached us. “Hurry up, the enemy will get here wherever he is.”

GUARDIANS OF LIFE: MEDICS… We were going to stay in Kovsakan for two more days with a few people. I, anesthesiologist Harutyun, Arshaluys Seyranyan and I had to stay, the others were quickly collecting the property of the field hospital. Soon the overloaded cars would move. We sat on the stairs and watched. At the last moment, they got out of one of the cars, left a block of toilet paper and said goodbye to us. “Well, we’re gone.” Harutyun, giving a serious expression on his face, turned to Arshaluys and said solemnly. “In fact, the situation is so bad, right?” “They leave us toilet paper for two days.” We had a good laugh.

Usually I went to the exits. I was not particularly involved in the operating room. I only helped the traumatologist Kemberyan twice during the amputation. Sometimes I would take the injured person to the doctors, overcoming difficulties, and I would not be able to go in to see how he was doing. I sat at the door of the operating room and waited… The most difficult cases were when we brought the wounded from a great distance and performed pulmonary resuscitation on the way. The hardest thing was when the doctor came out and we understood from the face that…

The boy remembered an incident. The voice comes from the depths… I try to get him out of oppressive memories.

“What hard case do you remember that had an unexpectedly good ending?”

“Yes, there was such a case,” he said. “I was in Karenavan.” The wounded were to be brought in an UAZ. As the car approached, I noticed that the crew was unusually calm. When I opened the car door, I saw that a soldier was sitting with a boy, and another, with a severe open skull injury, was sitting at his feet. A little further on, a boy with amputated lower limbs was lying bleeding. He needed help first. I asked the sitting boy. “Are you injured?” “No,” he said. “If not, take the water out of my bag and spray it on the other wounded man.” “I can not: I can’t look at blood.” I was very upset. I was worried. The wound was dirty. “And who are you?” I asked. “I am their healer,” the soldier nodded vaguely at the wounded. I felt unspeakable anger. My first thought was to leave the wounded man and attack him. But I controlled myself. He was a conscript, in shock… It was good that he was able to get the soldiers out of the battlefield… I moved the wounded to my car. I connected the amputated fluid to the amputated boy. The soldier had passed in that condition for more than an hour from the front line of Jrakan to Karenavan. It was already a miracle. I had never seen such a thing and I would not have imagined that it was possible. He had lost so much blood, but he still encouraged me as I helped the other soldier. This is how we got to the field hospital. They both survived…

… Our staff was unique. Our women are all heroes.

Babasina Arusyak was taking on the hardest job after the surgeries. She was taking her amputated legs out of the operating room with a bag. Our Hasmik, the coordinator, who has nothing to do with official medicine, wore bandages like us. She is a rare woman. I saw her for the first time the day I was hired; gentle, calm , beautifully dressed. The same Hasmik was completely different on the battlefield: very tough, strong, resilient, a real military man. She was constantly on the move. She walked around the whole hospital, found out where she was needed, immediately called here and there, ordered everything. While the others were working on the wounds, the psychological work fell on her shoulders.

she brought out the wounded from post-traumatic shock. She used to go to them with sweets and yoghurts, talking, persuading and feeding. She is a mother of three. When I came back sweaty from the exit, she noticed from one end of the dispensary to the other: “Change your shirt immediatley, wear a dry one.”

… Now, when I come to the hospital, I do not go without seeing Ara Grigorich. Ara Grigorich was in charge of our technical issues, but he did everything for us. In those days, he voluntarily undertook a job that none of us would do. He brought to the hospital all the documents and phones of the victims he found, compared, placed with them so that their relatives could find them later.… Now, after the war, we all realize how important his work was.

“We thought we’d go home, we wouldn’t be able to go back to normal life,” says Manuk with a bright smile. “But you see, we can.”

I had asked the same question to the other boys before.

“God forbid, in case of a new war, would you do the same again?”

Manuk gives the same answer.

“Regardless of whether I will be in the military or not, without thinking for a moment, I will go and stand next to my friends. I think each of us thinks so.

We all agree on one thing: let our next interview be only about our victories. Until then, glory and honor to the heroes of our “White Army”. They did their job, as always, excellent …




Category: #10 (1381) 17.03.2021 - 23.03.2021, National army, Spotlight