My 2009:

Strong, Intuitive, Engaged, Gutsy, Loving...

Monday, May 26

A good man...

On this Memorial Day 2008 I would like to introduce you to a soldier about to head out to Texas for EMT recertification, June 20th, then on to Iraq for a year tour.

Believe it or not... he really wants to go.

He's early forties and been out of the miltary for 16 years. Here's his testimony about why he got out of the military in 1992, written early this year, to some friends we were doing a raw food fitness challenge with:

"Now before I get started, don't think that I am just trying to get sympathy. I just wanted y'all to know a bit about where I'm coming from and where I hope to get back.

On July 8th, 1984 , at the age of 20, I hopped on my motorcycle and headed back to my duty station at Ft. Polk, LA. About 2 miles from my house an elderly man turned in front of me and I hit him broad side at about 60 mph.

The impact tore my body up. The metal of the car ripped my neck open and severed my jugular vein. By the time the ambulance got there and got me to the hospital I had lost so much blood that my veins were collapsing.

I was unconscious and actually went into a coma. They did cat scans and found that I had 2 blood clots to my brain. They couldn't give me more than one unit of blood for fear of the blood going to the clots and killing me instantly. The trauma to my head also caused paralysis down the right side of my body.

The initial report to my family was, "he's in a coma. He has 2 blood clots on his brain. He's paralyzed on his right side. He has a few broken bones that we are not even worried about right now. He is in very critical condition." When my mom asked about a prognosis the doctor said, "I can only give him about a 10% survival rate. However, even if he lives, he'll be in a vegetative state for the rest of his life."

WOW!!! What news, my family was devastated. However, my family is a very Christian family and they called everyone they knew for prayer.

Whether you choose to believe in God or not doesn't matter to me however, three days later I woke from the coma. Six months later there was NO sign of a blood clot. The paralysis began to leave my body and I was able to walk and hold a cup with my right hand. Before I left the hospital they put a cast on my broken ankle and told me to take it easy. I lost from 140 lbs down to 117.... Talk about a CRASH diet.

Because I am a VERY determined person I refused to just lie there. I worked hard to get ALL of my strength back. When I got the cast off I started to work out again and found that my right knee was messed up. Further examination found that both ligaments in my knee were destroyed and the cartilage was torn. I went through two knee surgeries within that 1st year.

Before my wreck I ran 2 miles a day, I played racket ball, I worked out with weights. I was proud of my body and the shape I was in. After the wreck I worked to get back to that place. It took nearly 2 years for my to get all of my range of motion in my arms and legs but it did happen.

Because of the excessive trauma to my body, over the years arthritis set in and I started to really slow down. I gained weight and actually got to over 180 pounds. For a guy that always stayed around 140, this was huge. I also went from a 28 inch waist to a 39 inch waist.

The reason I joined a raw food fitness challenge is because I was TIRED of feeling old. I am only 44 however, I FELT OLD. I have NEVER had a good diet and I have NEVER cared about it. Now, I CARE. When I looked in the mirror and saw a vague resemblance of the man I once was, I wanted to be better than ever. Most of all, I wanted to get healthy." ~Joey 3/31/08

Now he's off again to help out this younger group of guys. Off to lend his expertise and maturity, to help in any way he can. This is my man. My husband. We will miss him so much while he's away, and wait for his return.

~Joanna RawTn


RawBin said...

Aww, what a good man! I remember reading this on GI2MR a while back. (betcha didn't know he was one of my first friends there, huh?)
This is a good time for you to keep a blog, Joanna. To help keep him in touch with your world and to give you an outlet. I'm sure you'll need to vent. You'll have our support!!
Hugs, Rawbin

deaintheraw said...

Joey is such a super guy!
God was really with him when he crashed as a young man, God and his angels and his strength helped him become whole again and God will protect him and guide him in the near future when he heads to Iraq. What is Joey's name on GI2MR I want to add him to my friends.
Joanna you and your family will be in my prayers while your wonderful hubs is serving our country and protecting us all. Blessings xo Dea

Kristi said...

Even though I was young I remember the whole thing. What a miracle. The whole family was praying. We'll remember him while he's in Iraq as well. Love Kristi

sproutingalive said...

I'm sending lots and lots of love to you and your entire family. Even if he is looking forward to going, it's still going to be at least a little bit hard on all of you.


I'm here for you, even if I seem to be away from the computer and busy. If you need me, I'll be here.

Lots of love to you!

Wendi Dee