The USNS Comfort is one of the world's two largest hospital ships afloat and the seventh largest hospital in the world. It is longer than three football fields, includes 1,000 beds, a 50-bed emergency room and state-of-the-art diagnostic and treatment equipment.
A centralized computer in the Intensive Care Unit aboard the USNS Comfort tracks the heart rate of patients on the ward.
The USNS Comfort includes12 operating rooms. During a six-week period in the Persian Gulf, the medical staff treated almost 700 Coalition patients, Iraqi civilians and prisoners-of-war.
The crew of the USNS Comfort treated about 200 Iraqi patients, victims of the collateral damage of war. Most remained on board ship because of the severity of their wounds and because Iraqi hospitals were not functional.
LCDR Patricia McKay donated fabric she had collected to make quilts for her own children to sew clothing and head covering for Iraqi children in treatment aboard the USNS Comfort.
LT Paula Godes stands aboard the USNS Comfort back in port.
The Comfort Quilt records the story of the ship's deployment to the Persian Gulf as Operation Iraqi Freedom began in 2003.
LCDR Patricia McKay and LT Farzaneh Sabi lay out fabric used to construct the Comfort quilt and to sew clothing for Iraqi children aboard ship.
As enthusiasm for the quilt grew, sewing supplies dwindled. In response to an e-mailed request for help, quilters from across the the United States began sending needed fabric, needles and thread. LT Paula Godes holds welcome packages after mail call.
Back at home in the United States, LCDR Patricia McKay began assembling the Comfort Quilt.
Not enough crew members remained to finish the quilt after the Persian Gulf deployment. The Falls Church Quilt Unlimited Guild of Virginia took on the task. They painstakingly hand-sewed the quilt, adding embroidery and other details. The finished quilt reflects about 2,000 work hours aboard ship and back at home.