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Col. James Ficke, MD and Heather Ficke

Efforts to save lives in combat situations are always a team effort. In that spirit, Dr. James Ficke and his daughter Heather Ficke worked together to create a piece of art commemorating such efforts. The basis for their work was a photograph Dr. Ficke took while serving as the senior medical officer in a Combat Support Hospital in Iraq. Heather, who at the time of his deployment was a high school student, sketched a drawing based on that image. She has since gone on to college at the University of Texas at Austin, while Dr. Ficke has become chairman of orthopaedics and rehabilitation at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas. Although his time away was challenging for his family, Dr. Ficke says he has “never had a more tangible sense of impact, nor treated a more deserving group of patients.”

Bring Me Your Injured

9 x 12 in.

Colored Pencil Drawing

This colored drawing, created from a photograph taken on March 10, 2005, captures one of 19 mass casualty events that brought patients to Dr. Ficke’s Combat Support Hospital. At the center of the image, the hospital’s obstetrician, a diminutive, soft-spoken woman, asserts herself and captures the attention of ambulances and patients who arrived after a suicide bomber destroyed a mosque in Mosul, Iraq, killing many people and leaving 92 survivors. The physician is surrounded by members of the medical team, who helped register patients, take vital signs and perform triage for the arriving patients, most of whom were suffering from open blast wounds. Not until hours later, when his medical supply officer reminded him, did Dr. Ficke recall that it was his birthday.