Jason

Thanks to everyone that has said kind words both in the comments and in private email.  Here is pretty much everything I know about what has happened and what the status is.  Xenia has posted a little bit about things too.

I was looking at a picture of him on Friday.  It was a picture of him when he was about seven or eight years old riding in a combine harvesting wheat with my Dad on the farm with the Boomershoot site in the background.  My Dad suggested I show the picture to my friend Lyle who was having lunch with me at my parents house.  It was at almost exactly at the same time as when he was injuried.  Whenever I look at pictures of him now I look at his right arm and hand.  The arm and hand he no longer has.

This might be about the incident:

There were no effective attacks against Task Force Liberty forces since last evening when two IED attacks damaged one Humvee and wounded seven Soldiers who received non-life threatening injuries.

From his father, typos and all.  I have obscured some information that shouldn’t be of particular insterest to anyone but immediately family:

Sent: Saturday, October 15, 2005 5:42 PM

Friday, October 14

A bomb exploded near or under Jason’s humvee causing sever injuries while he was on duty on Friday, Oct. 14, 2005.  Other members of this unit were hurt or killed.

Friday, October 14, 2005

I received a call from the Army about 11:00 PM 8 hours after the incident.  I was told he was critical condition; his right arm below the elbow had been amputated, he had laceration on right side of his face; he had abdomen and back injuries.  He has been placed in a medical coma.  I verified that the call was for real (Jason had warned us about hoaxes) and called Katy.   Army casualty center is in Washington, D.C. and they are our link to Jason (1.888.331.XXXX).  They have been very helpful and caring but there seems to be limited information coming out of the Army trauma center in Balad, Iraq were Jason was sent after the explosion.    

I was told that the Army would provide a flight to either Germany or to the trauma center in the U.S for Katy, me and Lisa.  They advise waiting tell Jason arrives in the U.S. because his stay in Germany seemed to be uncertain as to the length (4 to 7 days) and we are not sure of his condition.   

Saturday, October 15, 2005

I was told that Jason was entering surgery for his back at 12:30 AM; I later found out it was for the buttocks.  He was out of surgery at approximately 9:00 AM.  It was unclear if he was in surgery all of this time or what the extent of the injuries was. 

I was told that they were flying him to Army trauma center in Landstuhl, Germany this evening.  It is a 10 hour trip and he should arrive Sunday morning.  This is good sign because he is in stable enough condition to be moved.  Hopefully we will be able to arrange a phone call once he arrives.  I am suppose to get a prognosis report when leaves Iraq / Kuwait (approximately 7:00 PM).  Unfortunately, I just learned that the prognosis report will not be available for several more hours 

Barb referred me to co-worker (Shane XXXX – 509.332.XXXX) who had recently spent 15 months working as a physical therapist in U.S. Military Hospital in Germany.  He was able to give me a better perspective of what the recovery process would be like and how Jason would be treated by the Army.  First, the Army pushes the wounded soldiers to get up and become active as soon as possible, even during their short stay in Germany they are immediately placed in physical therapy?  They are typically reassessed and additional surgery is performed as necessary.  Wounded solders are sent directly to a military hospital or trauma center depending on their injuries.  I was told by the Army that Jason will more than likely go to D.C (i.e. Walter Reed) or Huston (Brooks).  Shane says the care at these facilities is very good and they try keep them there as long as necessary.   Once the immediate surgeries and other treatments are completed, Jason will probably be assigned to his base at Ft. Steward and have therapy there, additional surgeries as necessary and counseling.  He will work at the base if is able.  Jason will be given 30 day medical leave(s) to come home and he will receive treatment as necessary while he is here.

Sent: Sun 10/16/2005 8:12 AM

I was on the phone early this morning trying to determine what Jason’s status was.  They had very little information because he is still in transit.  Jason is scheduled to land in Germany at 4:45 PM (German time) today which is just an hour from now Central Time.  They said that it will be several hours before he is processed into the hospital and evaluated.  He will be at Landstuhl Medial Center at least until Wednesday and possibly until Saturday (Those are the days that the two weekly flights are made to the U.S.). The average stay in Landstuhl is 5-6 days during which time they evaluate Jason, clean is bandages, perform any immediate surgery, and get him ready to travel to the U.S.   

I think Jason was in a medical induced coma for the trip to Germany.  I don’t know if they will keep him in the coma.  He is currently list VSI (Very Serious Injury) which is civilian equivalent of critical condition.   

Jason’s Aunt Judy and Uncle Stan are planning to visit him while he is in Germany.  Landstuhl is about five hour drive from Brussels where they live.

I am hoping to get a more complete report on the seriousness of Jason’s injuries once they do the evaluation in Germany.  I have not had any success getting the medical report from Iraq.

Update: Another weird coincident thing… When Lyle, his son, and I were eating lunch with my parents, probably just before the bomb went off that caused Jason’s injuries, we were talking about my great Uncle who lost his hand in an explosion over 80 years ago.