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Rescued POW has first surgery

No evidence of gunshot or stab wounds found

Troops attend to Lynch after her dramatic rescue.
Troops attend to Lynch after her dramatic rescue.

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Greg Lynch, father of rescued POW Pfc. Jessica Lynch, says the doctor who examined his daughter found no gunshot or stab wounds
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Lynch's rescue called 'a classic operation.'
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PALESTINE, West Virginia (CNN) -- Army Pfc. Jessica Lynch, rescued early Wednesday from an Iraqi hospital where she was being held prisoner, underwent a successful surgery Thursday on a fractured disc in her back at a hospital in Germany, her parents said.

"They have released the pressure on a nerve and realigned all the discs and put plates and stuff in it; that was because she didn't have any feeling in her feet," said her father, Greg Lynch Sr., from his home.

Lynch said that despite reports to the contrary, his daughter's doctors told him they found no evidence of gunshot wounds or stab wounds.

"There is no injury whatsoever," he said, adding he did not know how both her legs and her right forearm were broken.

Jessica's mother, Deadra, said the family spoke to Jessica before and after her surgery.

"She just sounded real good, a little groggy this morning," she said.

Greg Lynch Sr. said Jessica will have surgery Friday on her arm and legs.

"We know she's in good spirits because they told her they were going to put pink casts on her arms and legs," he said, recalling that she also had a pink cast for a fracture when she was in third grade.

Jessica's parents said their daughter did not talk about her captivity in their brief phone conversations.

The 19-year-old Army supply clerk was recuperating at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, where she was listed in stable condition.

Two sets of remains returned to Iraqi hospital

Jessica and seven other members of her unit, the 507th Maintenance Company from Fort Bliss, Texas, were listed as missing after they made a wrong turn near Nasiriya and drove into an ambush March 23.

Five other members of the unit were seen on Iraqi TV and are listed as prisoners of war; two were killed in action, and at least four were wounded.

Acting on information government sources said was obtained by the CIA from more than one Iraqi source, a special operations force of Marines, Army Rangers, Navy SEALs and Air Force combat controllers assaulted the hospital in Nasiriya where Lynch was being held. An AC-130 gunship and a reconnaissance aircraft circled overhead in support. (Full story)

The troops fought their way into the hospital and whisked Lynch away on a stretcher, fighting their way out.

A man taken into custody during the assault led U.S. troops to 11 corpses -- nine in a "grave area" and two in a morgue -- said U.S. Central Command briefing officer Brig. Gen. Vincent Brooks in Doha, Qatar.

Two sets of the remains were returned after it was determined they were not American, defense officials told CNN Thursday. Tests, including DNA analysis, were still under way on the other nine remains.

Town prepares for Lynch's return

In a phone call home, Jessica Lynch wanted to know "if she made the local paper" after her rescue, said her brother, Greg Lynch Jr.

That certainly wasn't a question back in West Virginia. Wirt County Tax Assessor Debbie Hennen said there was "no yellow to be found probably within a 25-mile radius" because so many yellow ribbons were on display as residents awaited Jessica's return.

A giant banner proclaiming "Jessi's Found!" hung over the courthouse steps, and plans for a celebration are "under discussion," Hennen said.

The Army is planning to send a team of counselors to meet with the family as part of a routine "repatriation process," said family spokesman Randy Coleman,

Jessica Lynch sounded much better Thursday morning than she did in the family's first conversation just a few hours earlier when she called after arriving in Germany, her brother said.

"Yesterday she was feeling very weak, she was tired and she was hungry as well," Greg Lynch said. "And my mom said this morning when she called she was real high-spirited, she was able to talk a little louder, and she was excited."

Greg is a 21-year-old private first class stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He returned West Virginia on emergency leave after the military listed Jessica as missing.

"Mom was telling her how she was a hero and she was making the news, and she asked if she made the local paper," he said. "And my mom said, 'Yeah you made the local paper and a lot more.'

"She has no idea what kind of a stir she's raised right now," he said.

CNN Pentagon Correspondent Barbara Starr contributed to this report.


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