Just before Christmas British troops based in Afghanistan's Helmand province saved the life of a local boy, injured in an accident.
The soldiers, from The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, 5th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland (5 SCOTS), and their Afghan police colleagues sprang into action when local man Sadar Mohammed brought his 15-year-old son, Payda, to their patrol base, PB Attal, suffering a serious head injury.
The boy had been injured whilst operating a water pump in fields owned by his father. The pump had broken and a piece of metal had become lodged in his skull.
After admitting them into the jointly-run patrol base, on the main Route 601, the British troops and the Afghan police moved Payda to the company aid post where he received immediate first aid from Lance Corporal Graham Maloney, a combat medical technician with the Royal Army Medical Corps, currently attached to 5 SCOTS.
Once the casualty was stabilised, he was evacuated to the city of Lashkar Gah, where Afghan civilian medics took over his care. Payda is now recovering well.
Lance Corporal Maloney said:
We have one of the only medical facilities along Route 601 and locals who suffer serious injuries know that we will assist them in getting the appropriate medical care. But they wouldn’t come to us if they didn’t trust us and, more importantly, the Afghan police we work alongside.
It is enormously satisfying to help the locals. They see first hand and appreciate the benefits of enhanced security provided by us and the Afghan National Police, and they trust us to do the right thing.
Sadar Mohammed said:
When my son was injured by the water pump, I knew it was serious and that the patrol base was the only place where we could get help. Thanks to God that they have helped my son and taken him to the hospital. We are very grateful to everyone who helped.