The following is an email recently received from Stan Flemming, DO ’85.

He and fellow COMP alumnus Todd Gottschalk, DO ’95, are serving in Kosovo.

Western Univ/COMP should be pleased to know that the Senior U.S.

Military Medical Advisor and Commander of the US Med. Forces for the

Balkans AND… the Deputy Commander are Western University/COMP Alumni.

At a recent medical meeting here, we were sharing around the table

where each of us had studied medicine and graduated from. When Tod told

us he was from COMP, my jaw just about dropped. Here he is my #2 guy out

here and I didn’t know that previously.

The last three weeks have been intense…which is a true

understatement. One particular night, I recall us in the OR for 5 1/2

hours trying to save a guy who had been shot several times. Tod and I

had scrubbed in on the case.

It was nice to know that he had received GREAT training. There are

two particular stories that I had recently shared with some friends

regarding two recent cases that I will send to you seperately. There are

many others of which some bring smiles to our faces and other simply

bring on the tears.

My time in command here will be drawing to a close shortly. It will

have been nearly a year since I left my family, friends, and practice. I

leave here with some real mixed emotions. The rewards have been many to

include the number of lives saved and lives touched. The new friendships

that have been forged. My most memorables are the Minister of Health, who

came to visit me and gave me this big bear hug and a thank you for having

worked with him to lay the foundation for a Kosovo-wide health care

delivery system which includes new standards of care and practice, in

addition to mandating that Serb and Albanian doctors work together in the

same facilities.

At the other end, is my new 8-year-old friend Verona. She was a

little girl who was walking with her cousin one day along the highway and

was struck and drugged for a distance by a large truck. Her cousin was

killed instantly.

For four days she lay in a “”hospital”” bed witout treatment. Her

leg, torn to the bone, lay open and gangrenous. Learning of the

accident, I had gone to the hospital to see how she was doing. It wasn’t

a pretty sight. I spoke with the doctor caring for her who complained of

not having any madications or bandages. The one they had used was simply

taken off daily, rinsed, and recycled. Her “”pre-medication”” for dry

dressing changes was Tylenol.

Watching the first change and watching her screaming, I told the

doctor we would provide the medication and bandages for her. I returned

to my camp, but couldn’t sleep that night. So, the next day, I flew back

to the hospital and decided not to leave her there. I returned here with

her, where we operated on her seven times. I told the mother that we

probably could save her life, but doubtful about the leg. Yesterday, I

visited her family at their home. Verona is walking now with both of her

legs. Her parents and family kept crying when we left after our visit

and said, that the day I picked her up from the hospital, the family had

gathered to plan her funeral. They are forever indebted to the


That is but one of several stories that make what we do and endure

here worth it.