Indian American Sanjay Gupta, who is CNN's chief medical correspondent and currently covering the Haiti quake, a practicing neurosurgeon, performed brain surgery on a 12-year-old Haitian girl Monday aboard a US military ship.
The girl, whose name was not released, was injured in last week's devastating earthquake, and was diagnosed as having a 1.2-cm (0.4-inch) chunk of concrete embedded in her skull.
The ship's surgeon called for a neurosurgeon, which are in short supply in the region amidst the mammoth and often chaotic rescue and recovery operation.
"With the help of a CNN producer, we called CNN in Atlanta who then patched us through to Doctor Gupta in Port-au-Prince," said the Vinson's Deputy Public Affairs Officer Erik Schneider.
"Someone got a hold of our international desk," 40-year-old Gupta later recalled. "They said there was an urgent call from the Carl Vinson. So I put a call in to them and there was something about a head injury."
Assisted by Los Angeles surgeon Henri Ford and the ship's surgeon Kathryn Berndt, Gupta pulled off the surgery between his multiple reports for the international news network on the massive quake that hit the Caribbean nation.
A Navy news report confirmed the events and added that a second operation was needed to remove a sliver of debris in the girl's skull that the medical team could not initially reach.
The girl was "neurologically intact and there wasn't any penetration of the brain," said Ford, originally from Haiti.
Gupta and Ford said they anticipated the girl would make a full recovery.
"I was honored to help out," said Gupta afterward. Gupta said, 'They had been watching our coverage and realised that I was in country.'
'Carrier flew out a helicopter for me and I boarded that helicopter and went to the carrier ship. A 12-year-old girl who had a piece of shrapnel that had gone through her skull and she did need emergent surgery.'
Last Mod: 19 Ocak 2010, 15:41
Gupta was considered for the post of President Barack Obama's surgeon general but withdrew his name in March last year due to family and career reasons.
In 2003, Gupta reported from Iraq and Kuwait from points along the unit's travel to Baghdad.
He also provided live coverage from a desert operating room of the first operation performed during the US-led invasion with Iraq, performing life-saving brain surgery five times himself.
A 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck Haiti last Tuesday, killing tens of thousands of people.