Maryland General Hospital Surgeon Provides Free Reconstructive surgery for Returning Iraq Solider

For immediate release: June 04, 2008

Iraq Star program facilitates surgeries for wounded soldiers

Baltimore, MD – Brian Gastman, M.D., who specializes in Otolaryngology and Plastic Surgery at Maryland General Hospital, performed reconstructive surgery today for a returning U.S. Iraq Solider. During his tour in Iraq, Army Sergeant Jeffrey Colpetzer, originally from Roff, Oklahoma, was struck by the fins of a friendly-fire missile from behind and an enemy rocket propelled grenade, resulting in scars and injuries to his face and shoulder.

As one of 158 board certified plastic and reconstructive surgeons in 38 states, DC and Canada volunteering their skills to aid the wounded via Iraq Star, Dr. Gastman donated his expertise to help improve Sgt. Colpetzer's quality of life. For many soldiers, reconstructive surgery is paired with long waiting lists and major cost restraints. Thanks to the generosity and charitable support of Maryland General Hospital, Sgt. Colpetzer will be one step closer to a happier and productive life.

Iraq Star is a non-profit foundation dedicated to providing the necessary reconstructive surgeries to assist war veterans recovering from physical and mental injuries. It is the Foundation's hope that reconstructive surgery will also help U.S. veterans heal from emotional trauma, increase self-esteem and ease their return to their pre-war lives.

For more information on Maryland General's participation in Iraq Star, contact the Public Relations office at (410) 225-8944 or (410) 225-8352.

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About Maryland General Hospital

Founded in 1881, Maryland General Hospital is a 213-bed urban community teaching hospital and part of the University of Maryland Medical System. Located in the heart of downtown Baltimore, the hospital provides healthcare in more than 30 specialties to approximately 110,000 patients annually through inpatient and outpatient care and free health screenings throughout the community.