Posts Tagged ‘Military’

The Heart of a Ranger

August 10, 2009

Pause for a moment at the passing of Corporal Benjamin Kopp, an American soldier who died after being wounded in Afghanistan on July 18.

A member of the elite US Army Rangers, Kopp was evacuated first to Germany and then to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC. He was laid to rest with honor in Arlington National Cemetery on August 1st.

But that’s not the end of the story. Cpl. Kopp chose to be an organ donor. Had he passed away in Afghanistan, there would not have been an opportunity to recover his organs in time for them to be useful. Injured in the leg, Kopp lost so much blood that he went into cardiac arrest and then slipped into a coma. Despite doctors best efforts, he failed to regain consciousness and passed away in Washington DC.

And the woman who received his heart was actually a friend of a friend – she happened to be following the story on a website, and when Kopp’s desire to donate his organs was mentioned, she started the process to check into the possibility of an organ match. It was a million in one chance that just happened to hit.

And although Cpl. Kopp is gone, parts of him still live – including his heart.

“How can you have a better heart?” said a grateful Judy Meikle, 57, of Winnetka, Ill., who is recovering from the surgery. “I have the heart of a 21-year-old Army Ranger war hero beating in me.”


Chinese Food, Cavities, and your Dog

July 7, 2009

Here’s a general interest article about healthy eating, but it points out several things of interest to those of us with Congestive Heart Failure (CHF). Chinese food, for example, is loaded with salt.

Gosh darn it. I love me some Egg Drop Soup along with the Sweet and Sour Chicken. Looks like both of those dishes are now “occasional treats.”

Looking on the positive side of things, the sweetener Xylitol can help prevent tooth decay! Given as an oral syrup to toddlers, it can prevent up to 70% of cavities. The California Dental Association recommends five grams of Xylitol per day (“taken” in chewing gum or mint form), and the US military has been including Xylitol gum in their Meals Ready to Eat (MRE) packs since 2007. It obviously won’t replace brushing and flossing, but every little “trick” you can use to improve your overall health is useful.

While Xylitol can help your teeth, it can kill your dog. So don’t let Fido steal your snacks. If you buy Xylitol in the powdered form and use it in baking, don’t give Rover a Xylitol cookie.

Human treats are for humans, and doggie treats for dogs. That’s only fair!