SOUTH Yorkshire doctors and nurses running the British military hospital in Afghanistan battled against the odds to attempt to save a bomb disposal expert with horrendous injuries in one of their final jobs before heading home.
Captain Lisa Jade Head, of 11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Regiment, had been in Helmand Province for less than a month when she was blown up while attempting to defuse an improvised device in the Nahr-e-Saraj district.
The 29-year-old sustained fatal injuries in the blast on Monday and was flown by helicopter to the hospital at Camp Bastion, run by the Territorial Army’s 212 Field Hospital Regiment.
Capt Mike Rutkowski, spokesman for the regiment - based at Endcliffe Hall, Sheffield, and whose members include NHS doctors and nurses from local hospitals - said: “Members of 212 Field Hospital were heavily involved in the attempt to save Captain Head. She was one of the last individuals to go through the hospital before the end of their tour of duty.
“One of our surgeons, Jonathon Reynolds, worked on Capt Head in the operating theatre for several hours. Her condition was stabilised enough for her to be flown back to the UK but sadly she passed on.”
Capt Head, from Huddersfield, is the second catastrophically-injured soldier the South Yorkshire medics attempted to save but who later died on returning to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. Private Daniel Prior, of Second Battalion The Parachute Regiment, was injured in a blast last month, also in Nahr-e-Saraj.
Some members of 212 Field Hospital Regiment are due return to the UK tomorrow.
Capt Head was injured after being called to defuse a bombs laid by the Taliban in an alleyway. She made one device safe but was blown up while dealing with a second bomb.
Her family said in a statement: “We wish to say that they we are extremely proud of Lisa. Lisa always said that she had the best job in the world and she loved every second of it. Lisa had two families - us and the Army.”