Showing posts with label amputations. Show all posts
Showing posts with label amputations. Show all posts

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Bad Weather Didn't Stop Bikers From Raising Funds and Spirit of Double Amputee

Anderson Co. fundraiser for marine, double amputee
By Miranda Combs
Posted: Apr 30, 2016

LAWRENCEBURG, Ky. (WKYT) - The weather wasn't ideal for a bike ride this morning, but dozens still showed up at a gas station in Lawrenceburg to raise money for a double amputee injured in Afghanistan in 2011.

"It's pretty humbling," said Lance Corporal Cody Evans. Evans was 27 years-old when his time at war stopped suddenly. "I led the foot patrol and I sweep a metal detector to find IEDs and I was clearing a compound out one day and stepped on one." Evans had both legs amputated and spent close to year recovering in his new body at Walter Reed Medical Center.

"I guess just needing help with stuff. That's the biggest thing and one of the hardest thing to get accustom to," Evans confided about his new life. But that's why bikers from the area showed up Saturday to raise money. The event was part of 'Defining Forces', a group that helps with a soldier's journey home by building houses for double amputees like Evans. The money raised will go toward furniture for his new home that will be built in May in Tennessee.
read more here

Saturday, May 17, 2014

First LT Amputee Serving in Afghanistan "Stud" and Remarkable

Wounded soldier First Lt. Josh Pitcher defies the odds in Afghanistan
Fay Observer
By Drew Brooks Military editor
May 17, 2014

CAMP MIKE SPANN, Afghanistan - First Lt. Josh Pitcher has nothing to prove.

He is loved by his men. Treated as a warrior by Afghan troops. And well respected by his superiors.

But Pitcher, 25, won't let up.

In the gym, he works harder. On patrol or in training, he pushes everyone to keep up with him. "He's a stud," his fellow paratroopers say.

Pitcher lost a leg in Afghanistan in 2012.
read more here

Friday, September 13, 2013

Cost of caring for wounded war fighters, priceless

If you thought all you had to do was show up to send them off, you forget about welcoming them home. If you thought all you had to do was say a prayer for them or visit a grave once a year, then you forgot about the ones that did make it home. If you thought the price of war stops when Congress says so, think again. Congress never did get it right for veterans of any generation and now they fail this generation as well. We're not off the hook because we just didn't care long enough.
Post 9/11 veterans' lifetime medical costs mounting
Sioux City Journal
Jessica Wilde
September 13, 2014

Jerral Hancock's stepfather, Dirrick Benjamin, helps him take his medication. He and Hancock's mother take care of him full time, helping him with everyday tasks like getting dressed and drinking water.
Jerral Hancock wakes up every night in Lancaster, Calif., around 1 a.m., dreaming he is trapped in a burning Army tank. He opens his eyes, but he can't move, he can't get out of bed and he can't get a drink of water.

Hancock, 27, joined the military in 2004 and went to Iraq, where he drove a tank. On Memorial Day 2007 -- one month after the birth of his second child -- Hancock drove over an IED, or improvised explosive device. Just 21, he lost his arm and the use of both legs, and now suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder.

The Department of Veterans Affairs pays him $10,000 every month for his disability, his caretakers, health care, medications and equipment for his new life.

No government agency has calculated fully the lifetime cost of health care for the large number of post-9/11 veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with life-lasting wounds. But it is certain to be high, with the veterans' higher survival rates, longer tours of duty and multiple injuries, plus the anticipated cost to the VA of reducing the wait times for medical appointments and reaching veterans in rural areas.
read more here

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Disabled veteran wins gold medals at regional games

Disabled veteran wins gold medals at regional games
April 26, 2013

At age 69, Bill Scales, a double amputee and a patient at the Olin E. Teague Veterans Medical Center, competed in his first Paralympics, bringing home gold medals in shot put, discus and javelin.

The Texas Regional Games of the Paralympics were held a couple of weeks ago in San Antonio and three Temple VA patients competed.

The experience put things in perspective, Scales said. There was always someone else competing who had a more challenging disability.

“I watched a blind man run 13 laps around the track,” he said. “Of course he had someone running with him to keep him in the right lane, but to run 13 laps, that in itself is amazing.”
Mike Weaver, adaptive sports coordinator for the Central Texas Veterans Health Care System, which includes the Temple VA, encouraged Scales to participate in the San Antonio games.

"Motivating the generation of veterans who are 55 and older is important for both the individuals and the VA, he said."

“Getting them off the couch and active means they’ll be physically and mentally healthier, which is a benefit to the veterans and the VA,” he said.
read more here

Monday, July 30, 2012

Refusing to quit, disabled veteran aims to inspire others

Refusing to quit, disabled veteran aims to inspire others
By Rebecca Angel Baer
updated 3:15 PM EDT, Mon July 30, 2012

Noah Galloway served two tours of duty in Iraq with the U.S. Army
During his second deployment, Galloway's Humvee was hit by a roadside bomb
He lost his left arm above the elbow and his left leg above the knee
He now competes to inspire others and raise awareness for injured veterans

(CNN) -- Noah Galloway's daily workouts could intimidate the most seasoned athlete. He runs, climbs, does pull-ups and push-ups, and lifts weights for nearly two hours at a time. But what really sets this 30-year-old father of three apart is that he does it all with one arm and one leg.

In the aftermath of September 11, Galloway felt called to serve his country. At 19, he withdrew from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and enlisted in the United States Army.

"After we were attacked, I felt like it was what I needed to do. I quit school and started off on a new journey."

Galloway was deployed to Iraq with the 101st Airborne out of Fort Campbell, Kentucky, in 2003. After becoming a husband and father, he returned for a second tour in 2005. "They put us in an area that was known as the triangle of death. It was southwest of Baghdad. The units that had been there before us had taken a beating. It was just a rough area."
read more here

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Joe Walsh faces campaign backlash over comments on double-amputee rival

Rep. Walsh faces campaign backlash over comments on double-amputee rival
Published July 06, 2012

Republican Rep. Joe Walsh is facing a campaign trail backlash after he was caught on camera last weekend accusing his double-amputee opponent of talking too much about her military record.

The Illinois congressman, who is running against Iraq War veteran Tammy Duckworth, has defended his remarks and reiterated that he still thinks his Democratic opponent is a "hero."

But Duckworth has used the gaffe to hammer the incumbent congressman almost daily this past week, even prompting one veterans group to call for Walsh's resignation.

While Walsh says Duckworth is manufacturing outrage, that hasn't stopped the decorated Democratic candidate from turning his remarks into a centerpiece campaign issue.

Duckworth earlier this week called Walsh's comments "irresponsible" and "insulting" to servicemembers.

Atop her campaign website is an online petition seeking support over the comments.

"It's time we teach Joe Walsh a lesson about true heroism," the petition says.
read more here

also Tammy Duckworth lost legs in service to country, Rep. Joe Walsh lost his mind

Duckworth defends military talk on the campaign trail
Posted by
CNN's Ashley Killough

(CNN) – Democratic congressional candidate Tammy Duckworth, an Iraq war veteran and double-amputee, fired back at opponent Rep. Joe Walsh of Illinois after he criticized her for talking too much about her military service.

"It's very irresponsible for Mr. Walsh, as a sitting congressman, to try to muzzle war veterans and keep them from talking about their service," Duckworth said on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer."
read more here

Thursday, July 5, 2012

'Stories of Courage' with Robin Meade focus on our wounded troops

Robin Meade has done some fantastic work sharing stories of our veterans for a long time. She is one of the few motivated by caring about them first and getting their stories second. Last night I watched this show. If you want a feel good story of just how wonderful our troops are, make sure you watch the next time it is on or go to the links below and watch online.

Saturday on HLN: 'Stories of Courage'
By Staff
July 04, 2012
Robin Meade hosts hour-long special
Encore presentations Saturday & Sunday, July 7 & 8 at 2pm

This weekend on HLN, a special that's been over a year in the making: "Stories of Courage," hosted by Morning Express' Robin Meade. They're incredible, powerful stories that show a real side of military life.

Here is a preview of just some of the stories you'll see:

Burned Vet Inspired by his Son's Love After getting burned in an IED attack, Air Force Tech Sgt. Israel Del Toro was terrified his son wouldn't recognize him. But when the little boy saw his dad, it was nothing but smiles.

The Walk Back Home: A solider's toughest mission When he lost his legs to a roadside bomb, U.S. Army Sg. First Class Aaron Causey promised he would make it home. Even more, he promised he would walk through his parent's door, no matter what. It is an unforgettable reunion.

Former Marine wins an archery medal with one arm An RPG took out Marine Cpl. Mark O'Brien's Humvee in 2004, he thought he was going to die. Today, he has learned to reclaim his life, including his childhood passion of archery.
read more here

Wounded vets share inspiring stories with HLN By Dianna Hill
June 28, 2012

Robin Meade sat down with the injured troops at the Warrior Games

Editor's Note: More than 200 wounded servicemen and women descended on Colorado Springs in May to participate in the third annual Warrior Games. Each branch of the military sent a team of inspiring athletes to vie for gold and bragging rights. But every athlete also has an incredible story of perseverance. HLN's Robin Meade sat down with five of them.

Army Corporal Brian Miller, Air Force Tech Sergeant Israel Del Toro (DT), Marine Corporal Kionte Storey, Marine Sergeant Than Naing and Navy Mineman 2nd Class Linda Simpson.
read their stories here

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Staff Sgt. Travis Mills fights to recover after losing limbs

Mich. soldier fights to recover after losing limbs
Associated Press
Tuesday, July 3, 2012

VASSAR, Mich. (AP) — Army Staff Sgt. Travis Mills served two deployments to Afghanistan without suffering anything close to a major injury. Then, in a second, everything changed.

On patrol during his third tour in April, Mills put his bag down on an improvised explosive device, which tore through the decorated high school athlete's muscular 6-foot-3 frame. Within 20 seconds of the IED explosion, a fast-working medic affixed tourniquets to all four of Mills' limbs to ensure he wouldn't bleed to death.

"I was yelling at him to get away from me," Mills remembers. "I told him to leave me alone and go help my guys.

"And he told me: 'With all due respect, Sgt. Mills, shut up. Let me do my job.'"

The medic was able to save Mills' life but not his limbs. Today, the 25-year-old Mills is a quadruple amputee, one of only five servicemen from any military branch to have survived such an injury during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, said Maria Tolleson, a spokeswoman at U.S. Army Medical Command. And instead of serving alongside his unit, he has been spending his days based at Walter Reed Medical Center, working on rehabilitation after the accident that dramatically altered the trajectory of his life.

Mills doesn't dwell on that. Sitting in his hospital bed, he describes his situation plainly: "I just had a bad day at work."

His family — especially his wife, Kelsey — admires him for that.

"I think he's Superman. I really do," she said. "It's amazing to see just how lucky he is. I mean, he's the luckiest unlucky guy."
read more here

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Wounded Altavista Soldier Stays Positive

Wounded Altavista Soldier Stays Positive
Posted: May 30, 2012
Reporter: Carleigh Griffeth

Altavista, VA- An inspiring update on a soldier from Altavista, nearly killed in Afghanistan. Chris Walker was clearing a site of explosive devices when one went off, throwing him 30 feet.

He lost both of his lower arms, and a leg. Right now, he's at Walter Reed Memorial Hospital in Maryland. We got to speak with him.

He's been through so much, but he's very optimistic. He's not mad, he's not upset, he's not even worrying about the future. The only thing he is complaining about, is having to stay in bed. And from the looks of things, he won't be there long.

Chris Walker's mother remembers it like it was yesterday.

"I can't explain. I really can't explain the feeling that it, that you have when you get the call," said Donna Hammack, Chris' Mother.

The call that her son lost three limbs, and was clinging to life.

"It's nothing that I'd wish on nobody else," said Hammack.
read more here

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Quadruple amputee vet Todd Nicely sees new home

The toll of war now includes more amputees
By Steve Almasy
Sun May 27, 2012

Frank Siller, left, and Gary Sinise, center, announce a concert to raise money for quadruple amputee vet Todd Nicely

More troops surviving bad wounds thanks to battlefield medicine, body armor
Badly wounded vets find help via special organizations
One group raises money to build special homes for triple, quadruple amputees
Expert: VA needs staff, money to handle growing wounded population

(CNN) -- Moments after the explosion, as he lay in a canal in rural Afghanistan, Cpl. Todd Nicely screamed twice at the top of his lungs. He was hurt so badly, his right leg blown away, his left one barely hanging on, but then he thought of two things.

His wife and his men.

He didn't think of dying.

He wanted to concentrate on getting home, and before that, he didn't want his squad's last image to be its leader wailing in pain.

"I just [told myself] keep breathing, keep breathing. If you do that you'll make it back to your wife," he said recently by phone. "I knew I was injured. It was whether I could bring myself to remain calm and not freak out and cause my vitals to go crazy."

What Nicely, who had stepped on the pressure plate of a roadside bomb, didn't realize at the time was that he had lost more than his legs. His arms also would need to be amputated.

In another war, another time, Nicely would have died on the battlefield.

Truth be told, there's a strong chance his heart did stop at some point on that day in March 2011. But thanks to modern body armor and a helicopter that arrived in just six minutes -- as well as quick reactions by his fellow Marines -- Nicely lived and became just the second quadruple amputee to survive battlefield injury wounds.

They are a small group, the quadruple amputee combat vets -- just five of them.

There are also 40 triple amputees. When they come home, they have their own set of issues, but many face the problems of every wounded vet. They start their new lives together.
read more here

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Marine lost legs and arms but skydives!

Injured Marine flies again thanks to special parachute jump
Sun-Times Media
May 22, 2012

Antioch Marine Sgt. John Peck whooped for joy and maybe a bit of relief as he completed a successful tandem parachute jump at Skydive Midwest in Sturtevant, Wis.

Although the skydiving center annually conducts thousands of successful jumps, Peck’s Monday jump was unique: He wore a specially-designed harness to accommodate the loss of his arms and legs in an IED explosion in Afghanistan.
read more here

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Iraq veteran, double amputee, in new Battleship movie

Col. injured in Iraq lands role in ‘Battleship’
By Scott Bowles
USA Today
Posted : Thursday May 17, 2012

LOS ANGELES — Greg Gadson’s departure from Baghdad was a sudden one.

Gadson, then a lieutenant colonel with the Second Battalion and 32nd Field Artillery, was returning from a memorial service for two soldiers when his vehicle passed a roadside bomb on May 7, 2007.

Gadson remembers the detonation sending his body tumbling through rubble, then medics placing him on a stretcher in a helicopter, his severed feet sitting in his lap. He awakened days later at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., his legs amputated above the knees.

“When you come to grips with the injuries like that, you don’t think of anything in your future,” he says.

“I never imagined anyone outside the military would be interested in me.”

Turns out a lot of folks were, including the New York Giants and now Hollywood. Gadson makes his acting debut in “Battleship,” playing Lt. Col. Mick Canales, a vet struggling with recovery much as Gadson did.
read more here

Monday, May 14, 2012

Prosthetic technology continues to improve

Prosthetic technology continues to improve
By Joe Gould - Staff writer
Posted : Monday May 14, 2012

Staff Sgt. Billy Costello lost his right leg to an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan last fall, but the list of sports he’s pursuing this year might make a person with both legs dizzy: Running, snowboarding, surfing and scuba diving.

“They say the technology’s there to get you back to where you used to be,” said Costello, 30, of 3rd Special Forces Group. “It’s very possible. You just have to make calls and see who’s done what already.”

Costello, an above-the-knee amputee at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, plans to do all this with a new generation of artificial leg that is powered by its own internal battery and intuits a user’s movements using an onboard computer.

Dr. Charles Scoville, chief of amputee services in the orthopedics and rehabilitation department, said such prosthetics have been tested since 2009 and have recently become available for most amputees there, affording them more mobility and less strain on muscles and joints.

“It’s only been in the last six months that we’ve really started to fit it this way,” Scoville said. “We’re now incorporating it as part of our standard of care versus just seeing how it works.”
read more here

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Green Berets still serving after amputations

Warriors stand tall in combat once again
Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force – Afghanistan Media Operations Center
Story by Gunnery Sgt. Ryan O'Hare

Sgt. Devin James U.S. Army Major Robert Eldridge, 2nd Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group executive officer, mounts a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, May 7. Eldridge was injured while on a combat patrol in Shkin, Patika province, Afghanistan, Dec 17, 2004. He was in the lead vehicle when it was struck by an anti-tank mine. Upon arriving at Forward Operating Base Salerno, his left leg was amputated in order to save his life.

BAGRAM, Afghanistan – Becoming a part of the U.S. Army’s elite fighting force takes total dedication and an unwavering fortitude to persevere in the toughest environments. These grueling conditions not only test an individual’s physical limits, but the mental capacity to forge forward in the face of adversity when most other men would falter. The few left standing at the end of this arduous gauntlet are known by two words - Green Berets.

For Maj. Kent Solheim, the Charlie Company, 4th Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group Company commander and Maj. Robert Eldridge, 2nd Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group executive officer, their personal courage, coupled with their desire to continue to serve alongside their Special Forces brothers, was stronger than any challenge that confronted them, including the amputation of their limbs.
Read more

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Homes For Our Troops Gunnery Sgt. John Hayes

Homes for our Troops
Marine Gunnery Sergeant John Hayes was on his 4th deployment when he lost both of his legs and suffered life-threatening injuries after stepping on an IED in Sangin, Afghanistan on December 28, 2010. An Explosive Ordinance Disposal Technician, GySgt Hayes was on a routine mission, when his comrade located an undetonated ordinance. While retracing his steps to return and assist his partner, GySgt Hayes stepped on a buried IED resulting in the traumatic amputations of both of his legs.

During transport out of Afghanistan to Landstuhl, Germany, GySgt Hayes required lifesaving resuscitation multiple times. Once stabilized, he was brought to Bethesda National Naval Medical Center where the long road to recovery began. During his first week in the hospital, Hayes miraculously survived a series of grueling surgeries before a serious infection led to a rare hemi-pelvectomy amputation, leaving Hayes without a leg or pelvis on his left side.

GySgt Hayes has endured over sixty surgeries thus far, and remains at the newly renamed Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for continued treatment and physical therapy.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

DoD says amputations reached wartime high

DoD says amputations reached wartime high
By Michelle Tan - Staff writer
Posted : Wednesday Mar 14, 2012 5:38:44 EDT
The number of U.S. troops who lost limbs reached a wartime high in 2011, according to data from the Defense Department, but along with the spike came advances in medicine and technology that have enabled troops with devastating wounds to survive and, in some cases, return to duty.

In 2011, 240 deployed troops had to have at least an arm or a leg amputated, compared with 205 in 2007, the height of the surge in Iraq, according to data published by the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center.

The increase in 2011 coincides with the surge of troops in Afghanistan, who often dismount on foot patrols in the country’s austere and rugged terrain.

Troops wounded in Afghanistan also have suffered the loss of multiple limbs — of the 187 service members with major limb loss in 2010, 72 of them lost more than one limb, according to the report from the Army’s Dismounted Complex Blast Injury Task Force.

That’s an increase from 2009, when of the 86 troops with major limb loss, 23 had multiple amputations, according to the task force’s report.

The “most dramatic changes” in the wounds coming out of Afghanistan were the increased number of troops with above-the-knee amputation of both legs, triple and quadruple amputations, and the associated genital injuries, the task force reported.
read more here

Sunday, March 4, 2012

881 soldiers endured major amputations, 171 have been able to continue to serve

Growing number of troops return to battle after suffering severe wounds
Stars and Stripes
Published: March 4, 2012

In the Army, for instance, out of 881 soldiers who endured major amputations — above the wrist or ankle — from combat in Iraq or Afghanistan since October 2001, 171 have been able to continue to serve.

KANDAHAR AIR FIELD, Afghanistan - The sniper team was in a hurry. The sun was up and they weren’t in position yet. Staff Sgt. Donald Thompson took the lead as they passed through a gate and into an orange grove.

When he went to take a knee to cover his men, the ground gave slightly beneath him. For an agonizing split second before it detonated, Thompson knew he had stepped on the pressure plate of an improvised explosive device.

The explosion blew his uniform off, leaving him naked except for his boots and body armor. His right ankle was shattered and most of the skin on his left leg was vaporized, leaving the muscle and bone exposed. A piece of shrapnel ripped his face open, and he could barely see.

At first, he worried about keeping his legs. Then he saw the blood in his groin and his pleas quickly changed. “Please, God, you can have my legs, but at least let me be a man.”

Then he thought of his new wife, and worried that she wouldn’t want him anymore.

Though some of his memories have faded, the former sniper team leader vividly remembers the young soldier who helped evacuate him. When the private saw the torn flesh on his face and legs, he had to look away.
read more here

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Community rallies for Iraq veteran who lost legs helping someone else

Community rallies for Palermo veteran who lost legs in crash
By Abigail Curtis, BDN Staff
Posted Feb. 10, 2012

PALERMO, Maine — Two years ago, Jeremy Gilley was rappelling out of helicopters in Iraq, where he served as a U.S. Army specialist with airborne special forces.

The 27-year-old Gilley, a Palermo native who graduated from Erskine Academy in South China, made it home to Maine safely. But just before Christmas, disaster struck for the combat veteran when he stopped to help at an accident scene on Route 3 in Augusta.

Gilley parked just in front of a crashed pickup truck early in the morning of Dec. 18 and went to help the injured driver. But a 16-year-old driving a minivan didn’t see the accident and struck the truck, pinning Gilley between two vehicles.

Gilley lost both his legs after that night.

“He’s trained in emergency situations. He did everything he’s supposed to do,” said his aunt Dottie Gilley. “He’s a hero.”

She is working to raise money to help her nephew and his family and to try to bring more national attention to his plight.
read more here

Friday, February 10, 2012

Amputation Cases Among Troops Hit Post-9/11 High in 2011

Amputation Cases Among Troops Hit Post-9/11 High in 2011

February 10, 2012
Stars and Stripes|by Chris Carroll
WASHINGTON -- More U.S. troops lost limbs in 2011 than in any previous year of fighting since the 9/11 attacks, recently published Pentagon data show.

The grisly toll, 240 cases of deployed troops with at least one arm or leg amputated, appears to mainly reflect the ongoing troop surge in Afghanistan, along with an increased emphasis on foot patrols in areas where insurgents are active.

Amputation cases were up from 196 in 2010 and exceeded the previous high of 205 during the 2007 Iraq surge, according to figures published this month by the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center. The Marine Corps was hit hardest by far, with 129 Marines suffering amputations in 2011.

The Army, which has more troops in the country, had 100 amputation cases. Six sailors and five airmen also lost limbs.
read more here

Friday, January 20, 2012

First veteran to get new high tech prosthetics is from Greenfield

First veteran to get new high tech prosthetics is from Greenfield
A grenade explosion in Iraq took Derick Hurt's legs.

STORY: Veteran from Greenfield is first to use new, lighter, stronger, faster artificial legs
by Paula Morehouse and Justin Haase, KY3 News
8:41 p.m. CST, January 18, 2012

WATERLOO, Iowa -- An Iraq war veteran from Greenfield, Mo., has taken another step forward in his recovery. Derick Hurt is the first veteran in the country to get the latest technology in prosthetics.

Nearly 10 years ago while serving in Iraq, a grenade blew up under Hurt's Humvee, shattering his legs. Hurt's right leg was amputated; he fought Army doctors to save his left one.

In 2009, he decided to have his other leg amputated because the pain was diminishing his quality of life.

(The video shows some of Hurt's progress over the years. KY3 News visited him during his rehabilitation at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D.C., a few months after he was injured. Other video shows him in the intervening years learning to walk with prosthetics.)
read more here