Second Life

By Mike Hixenbaugh
Rocky Mount Telegram
July 6, 2008

WASHINGTON, D.C.

For a few seconds on April 6, 2008, as the sun set over the desert horizon, Michael Beck ‘s 20-year-old heart stopped.

Medical experts call it “extreme trauma,” but as far as Beck is concerned, for a few moments on a gurney in Baghdad, he was dead.

More than half of his blood supply had poured out of him after the mortar blast, puddling around his mangled body as he lay frozen by shock. Beck had hemorrhaged six pints by the time medical workers temporarily bandaged the 14-inch stomach gash that stretched from his sternum to his pelvic bone.

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