22 August 2010

Wounded Soldier needs your help

Want to help a wounded veteran?  Head over to Woodhouse Auto Family and vote for Candidate #2

Should he receive enough votes, he will receive a new car; one he badly needs, as it's difficult for him to get into his old car in his current condition. 

Here is his story:

This candidate was at Fort Hood, TX Army Base Soldier Readiness Center checking in after returning from a second tour in Iraq. He was 5 days away from going to Officer Candidate School and pursuing a long time dream of becoming an Officer in the army. That all changed that day when one man that this candidate had never met, came in and started shooting. The gunman's goal was to kill as many Americans as he could and then take his own life.

This candidate saw the laser pointed at his head and was shot 4 times.

This candidate's fiancé was an undergraduate senior at Boston University, one semester away from graduating with a degree in Psychology. She had just been on the phone with him an hour before and knew what area of the base he was on. She later found out that her fiancé had been shot in the head and was in critical condition and probably wouldn't make it through the night.

When she got to the hospital he was alive, but in very serious condition. Most of his skull on the right side had been shattered and a part of his brain had to be removed from bullet and bone fragment damage. Later the next day, he awoke and asked her how she got there so fast. His next sentence was, "Will you still marry me even though I got shot?" Without hesitation she replied with a kiss and a, "I most definitely will."

It was truly a miracle he survived. His left side was completely paralyzed, leaving him unable to walk or use his left arm. After just a few short weeks he was able to be moved to the Neuro Rehab Center in Austin. After hours of extremely painful therapy every day, he was beginning to walk.

January 8th was his next surgery, to reconstruct his skull and fill in the missing piece. Immediately after the surgery he had a bad reaction to the material used and his condition worsened. Because of many serious complications, the piece put in 10 days earlier had to be removed. A week later a shunt was put in because of fluid building on his brain. All of the progress he had made was lost. This candidate was unable to eat and had lost about 50 lbs. His kidneys were starting to shut down. He had problems with his liver function; and because of several other complications, he was hospitalized for over a month.

On February 24, this candidate was able to go back to the Rehab Center in Austin and start over with his therapy. He was unable to walk, his muscles had wasted away, and he was weak from not being able to eat. But his determination was stronger than ever and within a few days he was beginning to walk again.

There have been many challenges and setbacks for the both of them in the past 5 months. His fiancé has been there day and night, by his side, since the shooting. They gain strength from each other and have overcome many difficult obstacles. In reality, they will have a lifetime of obstacles, but I have never seen two people so committed, so determined and in love

He was shot that day because of his decision to put on that uniform and fight for his country, a decision he made without doubt or regret. This candidate will never be the same, his life - their lives, have taken a much different path than they had originally planned. But they don't dwell on that; they just simply have agreed to take a different path, knowing together they can accomplish anything.

He will have at least one more surgery to reconstruct his skull and will probably be hospitalized for an additional 2-3 months after that and then have several months or years of outpatient therapy.

Because this candidate wasn't injured in Iraq, and because he was shot on a US Army base by another soldier, the Army doesn't recognize his injuries as combat related, so the army/government doesn't offer the support or help for them that a soldier injured in Iraq or Afghanistan would have received.

The vehicle they have is a small car that she has to cram and twist and push his wheelchair into the backseat. It sits down low to the ground so it is hard for him, being 6-1 to get in and out of. They wanted to get something bigger but know that they can't afford to get anything right now. A bigger vehicle would make life a bit easier; it would be very much appreciated.

They are both excited and optimistic about what the future holds for them. While they cannot control every aspect of his recovery and they don't know what the future has in store for them, they do know that the strength and bond they are building through this experience will prepare them for whatever lies ahead.
Please take the time to assist this veteran. 

Thanks to Paul for the link

1 comment:

Charlotte said...

Just voted, and it looks like he's in 2nd place right now.