Note: This is the second in a series of tributes I am writing about the four young men who died in the same IED explosion that caused Sam’s injuries. Sam’s medical status will follow each tribute. Please continue to pray for the family and friends of these brave warriors.
HN Daniel S. Noble, United States Navy Corpsman: On July 24, 2007 HM Daniel (Doc) Noble was killed by an insurgent IED attack. Doc Noble was the drivers side passenger in the 4th vehicle of a 43 vehicle convoy passing through the Diyala province of Iraq.
Doc Noble, 21 of Whittier California, is in the Navy but assigned as one of several corpsman to Kilo Battery. There is a very special bond between the Navy corpsman and the marines. The corpsman is responsible for quickly assessing a marine’s injuries, stabilizing them and preparing them for transport. Many times their job is performed while under fire from the enemy.
A couple of days prior to Doc Noble’s death his convoy was escorting busses full of Iraqi soldiers. The bus behind them was hit by an IED killing several Iraqi soldiers. Doc Noble pulled several of the Iraqi soldiers to safety as he was being fired upon by insurgents. Kilo battery came together quickly and took out the insurgents before they could cause any more harm. Just another day of saving lives and protecting their brothers (even Iraqi brothers).
Daniel joined the Navy on October 4, 2005 following in the footsteps of his grandfather and godfather. His uncle Kelly Thomas said his nephew had the wisdom of someone twice his age and said Daniel wasn’t concerned about joining the Navy at the height of the Iraq War. “He just thought about helping people, “Thomas said. “He had a true spirit of giving”.
Daniel was originally hoping to join the Seabees, but broke a hand just before he was scheduled to start basic training. After recuperating, there were no Seabee openings so he made a quick decision to become a corpsman which he loved.
LCPL John P. of Kilo Battery wrote of Doc Noble after his passing:
” I am very proud to have served by his side he was a great man and friend one that would do anything for anyone to make them feel better. We the warriors of first platoon Kilo 3/12 miss you greatly but know that your in god’s kingdom now and wouldn’t want it any other way…you truly were a devil doc. R.I.P. bro, I know I will see you again some day. ”
Sam’s medical status: Sam was feeling lots of pain in his throat because he did get the 8 gauge trach tube replaced with a 6 gauge tube. There was some coughing up of blood and he even got some on his doctor who was standing at the foot of the bed (nice aim Sam!). Erin could tell he was starting to feel better because although there was blood from manipulating the tubes in and out of this throat, he was coughing much less then previous days and did more clearing of this throat. He was also making different moaning sounds with his throat so he is probably more comfortable with the smaller tube and can make more “normal” vocal sounds than before. She’s thinking they may remove the trach sometime next week if all goes well. The therapist and doctors will be performing some type of pressure test next week to determine if Sam is breathing enough through his throat and nose to allow for the trach tube to be removed.
Sam’s starting to smile much more. It’s only happening with the left side of his mouth for now, but they are smiles. Erin was reading him Harry Potter (just finished the 1st book on Thursday) and he smiled several times when she asked him if he knew what was going to happen next. She thinks all her kissing therapy is helping his facial muscles heal quicker 🙂 Erin also noticed that Sam is concentrating more on Erin while she is reading the book to him. He is also enjoying watching TV more and especially likes the first part of Ellen where she does her little dance through the audience.
Sam is now having physical therapy twice a day. They got him to sit up on the side of his bed for about 10 minutes on Thursday. It took a few people to hold him up, plus his neck muscles are so atrophied, he’s having a hard time holding his head up while being in such an upright position.
Sam is starting to do all kinds of things with his right arm. He was scratching his belly yesterday and he’s starting to reach out to grab Erin’s hand on his own. He’s also finding the wound on his right hip and wanting to scratch that which of course he shouldn’t do…but it also means he is getting more body sensations.
The picture collage from this post is courtesy of Michelle at Chelle’s Designs. She can be contacted at http://www.myspace.com/chellesmildesigns