Deputy Koontz’s trauma surgeon: ‘This was one of those deep marks’

Noah Koontz (Photo Courtesy: Little Neighbor Studio)
Noah Koontz (Photo Courtesy: Little Neighbor Studio)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — There are heroes who spend their nights in the emergency room. In their scrubs and white coats, knowing that at any moment, their night can change.

“I was talking to my nurses in the emergency department, I was like, ‘Hey things seem to be a little quiet right now. I’m gonna go to catch a few, a little snooze there’, and she said, ‘Well don’t go anywhere’ and I said, ‘What are you talking about?’ She said, ‘We have two officers that have been shot,'” said Jamie Coleman, Assistant Professor of Surgery and Trauma Surgeon and IU Health Methodist.

Howard County Deputies Jordan Buckley and Carl Koontz were rushed to the hospital after a shooting in Russiaville in March. Koontz later died from his injuries.

“When you have to give a family those words, the words of ‘I’m so sorry, but your loved one has not made it,'” Coleman said, ‘When those words hit that mom, hit that dad, hit that spouse and you can hear their heartbreak.”

Words she had to give to Deputy Koontz’s wife, Kassie.

“I was nine months pregnant at the time and I think giving those words to another young woman, who has an infant at home, and knowing that the door has slammed shut on the life she knew, and knowing that she’s been pushed into a world that she never imagined, and had nightmares about, and that’s her new reality, that’s what really hit home,” Coleman said.

The next morning, she wrote a blog post about it. 

“My heart tells me I lost them, my brain tells me I never had them to lose. One of my mentors said all trauma surgeons have their own personal graveyard, filled with patients we couldn’t save, and families hearts left broken, a truer statement has never been said, and this weekend, this trauma surgeon’s graveyard, has increased yet again,” she said.

Knowing that the next night she worked could change at any moment.

“I try my (explicit) to make sure I never have to give those words again. That’s what keeps us going.”