Moments

Special Ops. Special Nurse.

Posted on Jan 16, 2020

As a military medic trains on how to intubate a child for the first time, a nurse captures pictures and shares them with his proud Mom.
As a military medic trains on how to intubate a child for the first time, a nurse captures pictures and shares them with his proud Mom.

Moms worry about their kids. And if your son joins U.S. Special Operations Command and signs up to be a combat medic, their anxiety doesn’t wane. So when Cynthia Long, a registered nurse and surgical team leader in the operating room at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital meets Judd Arnold, she thinks about his mom. He’s part of a training program teaching elite army medics how to save children’s lives. 

“You’re the same age as my son,” she tells him. He doesn’t mind the questions. Drill sergeants at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, are a lot more assertive. Long gathers the team together for a group photo and asks the soldier for his mom’s cell phone number. With the photo she includes “Ur son worked w us today in neuro/plastic surgery. I am a proud mom/grandma. U have a very nice son.” Judd’s mother responds with delight.

“My mom doesn’t like to know what I’m doing all the time because she’s usually terrified,” Judd says. “Special Ops isn't always like what you see in the movies. There are also missions aimed toward helping locals.” Judd will most likely be deployed after his training is complete. “This experience is invaluable when a tiny little one needs air, and I’m the one responsible.”

His rotation through St. Petersburg with 11 other medics will last a month. “If you’re going to learn about pediatrics, this is the place to do it,” Long says. “I’m proud of you like your mom,” she tells him before a hug goodbye.   


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