Jeremy’s story, as with so many, is heart-wrenching. He enlisted in the Army at age 19 and after training, was assigned to Bravo Company at Fort Campbell, KY. He married in 2009 and had two children before he was deployed to Afghanistan in July, 2010. On September 15, 2010, while on duty, he was struck by sniper fire that entered his lower back and exited his upper chest. This changed Jeremy’s life forever.
When the 7.62 mm round entered Jeremy’s lower back, it hit his vertebra, causing it to shatter bone fragments, hitting every organ in his body except his heart. Jeremy was paralyzed from the waist down.
Jeremy was flown to Jalalabad, then to Germany where doctors fought to save his life. His family was called to Germany and stayed with him until he was able to be flown to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC. While there, he endured over 100 surgeries in a 3 month period in attempt to reconstruct the abdominal wall. It was finally decided he should be sent to the spinal rehabilitation center in Tampa and return to Walter Reed for reconstruction of his abdominal wall later.
Jeremy did very well in Tampa and was recovering from his surgeries. He even began to move his feet. Jeremy was able to move into his own apartment with his wife and two children. But then the day came for Jeremy to return to Walter Reed for reconstruction of his abdominal wall. It is here that the miraculous progress Jeremy made deteriorated. In an effort to ease the severe pain caused by the swelling of his organs after 14 hours of surgery, the doctors insisted on an upper epidural. Finally, two weeks later, at the insistence of Jeremy, they removed the epidural, leaving Jeremy paralyzed, now from the chest down. This was the catalyst that was the downturn from which he has been unable to recover.
He and his wife separated and Jeremy was sent back to the Tampa VA spinal cord rehabilitation center in October, 2012. He remained there until August 8, 2014.
Meanwhile, JCS had been working with Home With Hope to add an all-handicapped accessible addition to Jeremy’s parents’ home near Clarksville. The project was not scheduled to be completed until August 17th. Because Jeremy was discharged earlier than expected, JCS had to find a place for Jeremy to stay in the interim. Fortunately, American Health Centers, Inc. has a nursing facility in Clarksville; Clarksville Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. Through their generosity, they’ve admitted Jeremy until he was able to go home. He is now settled in his new room and enjoying being at home with family.