Registered Nurses (RNs)
Top National Prize Winner - LT Charles Dickerson, NC, USNR
(Naval Hospital, Yokosuka, Japan)
"U.S. Navy ICU Nurse Saves Life of Dying Iraqi Boy"
LT Dickerson was chosen as one of the top two winners for his heroic efforts that saved the life of a dying Iraqi boy during Operation Iraqi Freedom. After being shot in the face by Iraqi militia, when his father refused to fight for Saddam Hussein, the boy was brought to LT Dickerson with almost zero chance of survival. LT Dickerson’s quick thinking, highly innovative medical approach and stamina all contributed to saving the boy.
Media Links: PDF Articles:
Lt. Charles Dickerson is interviewed by JOSN Nathan Gomez of Armed Forces Network.
Lt. Charles Dickerson checks on young patient Anthony Fitts on Ward 5B of U.S. Naval Hospital, Yokosuka.
Lt. Charles Dickerson, top prizewinner of the Cherokee Inspired Comfort Award, talks to staff members in the recovery room outside the Operating Room at U.S. Naval Hospital, Yokosuka.

Nominated by: Janet Hughen

During Operation Iraqi Freedom, LT. Dickerson provided bedside care to over 250 critically ill and acute patients, mostly Iraqi P.O.W.s and civilians while assigned to Fleet Hospital 3 in Camp Viper Iraq. This historic mission was the first fleet hospital to be erected inside of an active combat zone. One interesting case was of a young boy about 4 years of age who had been shot in the face by Iraqi militia when his father refused to fight for Saddam.

"For the next 8 hours, LT. Dickerson never left his side as he carefully titrated his medications by syringe since there was no IV tubing for the pumps"
LT. Dickerson received this little boy on a transport ventilator which had very limited functions. While taking care of the little boy, he noticed that his peak airway pressures were becoming dangerously high, indicating a need for pressure control ventilation. With no way of performing pressure control ventilation in the field, LT. Dickerson suggested trying a combination of carefully titrated paralytics, narcotics and sedatives all at once to “drive” him into a range which would keep him ventilated. For the next 8 hours, LT. Dickerson never left his side as he carefully titrated his medications by syringe since there was no IV tubing for the pumps we had. As the child began to further deteriorate, the decision was made to get him urgently medivaced. Fortunately, LT. Dickerson had planned ahead for this and had prepared a careful combination of drugs for the pediatrician and respiratory therapist who accompanied the child to a trauma center in Kuwait. LT. Dickerson was told by the pediatrician that the drug combo was a life-saver for the little boy.
They eventually got him to Kuwait, where he received world-class care. By the time LT. Dickerson was leaving Iraq, he heard the child had been assigned to some of the best plastic surgeons in the world for care. LT. Dickerson said, “I will never forget how much of a fighter this little boy was who so desperately clung to life.”