Friday, May 22, 2009

The Washington Post The Louise Kurtz Story

No one here forgets that so many at the Pentagon never even made it to a hospital. Close friends, bosses and co-workers are dead. The Nation has, in many ways, begun to move on. Funerals have been held. War has been declared and fought. Suspects are being pursued. But in the hospital, life goes slower. In all, they were just seven men and women, not the many dozens or hundreds that doctors had expected. When Mike Kurtz first came to the emergency room burn unit on September 11, he didn't recognize his wife--a tiny body completely wrapped in bandages, connected to a bunch of tubes. But he soon discovered that it was Louise--petit, precise, loyal Louise. Louise, who is a size 8 and loves pink carnations, the color blue and Nara Roberts books. NPPA3

FOUR QUESTIONS "Everyday I ask her four questions. Are you breathing okay? Are you in pain? Are you hot? Are you cold? I ask those four questions because I can do something about those things. Those are the only things I can control for her," says Mike Kurtz about his wife, Louise Kurtz, who was badly burned at the Pentagon on September 11. NPPA3

Mike Kurtz thanks one of Louise's doctors while Louise's mother takes a moment to herself. NPPA3

Mike stands over Louise's bed watching the nurses change her dressings. When Louise goes home, Mike will take responsibility for changing her. NPPA3

Mike Kurtz gives his wife, Louise Kurtz, a kiss and encouragement. NPPA3

Mike reads letters from well-wishers all over the world. NPPA3

Remembering how to Laugh: Mike inhales the air from a helium balloon in an attempt to cheer up Louise. NPPA3

Going home: Mike carries Louise over the treshold of their home--a symbolic as well as necessary action for their new life. NPPA3

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