Maj. Anne Simpson held Staff Sgt. Mathew Horton's hand while she coaxed him out of an anesthetic sleep.
Horton whispered something in her ear, and she replied, "That's just your heart waking up, sweetie."
Meanwhile, medics and other nurses were looking at Horton's chart and evaluating the numbers on a heart rate monitor. Horton had just undergone hernia surgery.
His operation could have taken place in surgical suites at Madigan Army Medical Center, or MAMC, or any hospital.