Corporal Michael we wounded in early December 2010 in Afghanistan by an IED explosion. Mom tells us she was told he has large shrapnel in his back, an open fracture to his arm and much damage to the nerves and soft tissue. The family is expecting to be with him as soon as he is brought stateside. Please keep them in your prayers and send a card of support.Update
: 12/24/2010 We received a good news, bad news report. Michael has been able to sit up in a chair because his shrapnel wounds are healing. The family also reports that because his hearing is still bad, when he is able to doze off, the machines he's hooked up to don't bother him. The bad news is that he has to make a very difficult decision regarding his arm. The damage is far more extensive than originally thought, and saving it would be a very long, painful experience without much chance of functionality. He will be talking to others who have been in the same situation so pray that he makes an informed decision so he can move to the next steps of recovery quickly.Update
: 12/29/2010 Michael has made the decision to have his hand and half of his forearm amputated. The surgery will probably take place early next week. He wants to move on quickly and get a prosthetic in order to gain some functionality.
We wish you well, Michael, and hope the surgery goes well and the rehab even better.Update
: 1/6/2011 from Mom: She sent a short email to ask for prayers...."Michael went into surgery at 1400 Cali time to remove upper 1/2 of forearm, supposed to be 8 hrs." Update
: 1/9/2011 from Mom: "Today Michael & I got outside & walked around twice. Doc said he's doing good, if he can get off pain block & pump then they'll look at discharge maybe w/in wk; starts OT/PT next week, will work on fitting for prosthesis mold while trying to teach to operate normally. They're amazed how well he already does with only his right hand."
Thanks, everyone, for your prayers. They are working!Update
7/12/2011 Mom sent us some pictures of Michael and said he's home for a few weeks of recuperative leave. We'll feature him in the July Newsletter so you can see all that he's been up to with his therapy. (Just click on the July 22 Newsletter in the frame to the left of this update.)
Our photo is of Michael and one of his sisters. They hadn't seen each other since December and look happy to be reunited, don't they? Welcome home Michael - even if it's only for a few weeks. Have a great time visiting with family and friends!Update
: 7/26/2011 Michael's story was featured in our recent Newsletter and the details and photos can be found here: just copy/paste this link into your browser to see what Michael's been up to.
8/17/2011 from Mom: Michael has found a place to live off-base and is in the process of moving in. He's still undergoing therapy and treatment for the countless setbacks, major and minor, but he'll have a place to call his own, the first in a very long time. Enjoy it Michael!Update
: 2/5/2012 We understand Michael is at the Super Bowl! and are so happy to hear he is able to attend. Having a good time is just what the doctor ordered. We don't know what teams he's rooting for but have a feeling it doesn't matter. Update
: 3/13/2012 from Mom. Michael is receiving a new prosthetic hand that functions better than others he has tried. She sent photos and we've done a story which will come out in the March OperationPAL Newsletter. You will see for yourself how 'real' the joints look. This has to be very exciting. It means more learning to get used to it but it sounds like it will be well worth it. Update
: 6/1/2012 Debbie is very proud of her son. He called on Mothers' Day (sweet) and made her day wonderful. She says he is doing well & staying busy. Did a 5k & surf clinic Sat, was going on hike Sunday then scuba classes & golf tournaments all week followed by ridiculous obstacle course race on both Saturday and Sunday.
It does sound like they are keeping him busy. That list made us want to take a rest. Go Michael! Update
: 6/4/2012 Michael has been surfing and we found the pic to prove it. Cut/paste this in and see for yourself! http://www.delmarsandpiper.org/Pages/News2012_06/June2012-01.html Update
: 10/20/2012 from Michael himself. He said he's enjoyed receiving letters from you over the last two years now but now he feels it is time your efforts are focused on other injured Marines.
Michael, we are happy to hear the letters brought you enjoyment and wish you a very successful future.
Date added to program: 12/16/2010
Date removed from program: 10/9/2012
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