Chris enlisted in the Army November 2001. He was serving his fourth deployment (3 in Iraq and 1 in Afghanistan) in the ten years he has served when on dismounted operations in Saih Choy on March 16, 2012 when a blast incident occurred. Chris’s initial injuries included blast lung and 2nd and 3rd degree burns over 60% of his body, a fractured facial orbital, fractured neck, and other contusions. He was airlifted from Kandahar, Afghanistan to Regensberg University hospital in Germany where he spent 7 days on ECMO (lung by-pass) machine to save his life. From Germany he was sent to San Antonio, TX to Brook Army Medical Center’s (BAMC) burn unit to treat his severe burns. While at BAMC, a fungal infection set into the burn and shrapnel wounds in his lower extremities and he underwent a bilateral AK amputations on April 2nd. Chris recovered to a point in late June where his burns and shrapnel wounds had healed enough to be transferred to the VA Polytrauma Hospital in Palo Alto, CA where he was further diagnosed with an incomplete spinal cord injury in the thoracic region of his spine.
Through all of this, Chris remains focused and committed to rehabilitation. It is estimated that he will remain in Palo Alto for 3-6 months while he works to regain his upper body strength which will be necessary for the next stages of rehabilitation in the C5 program at Balboa Naval Hospital in San Diego where he will be fitted with prosthetic legs and with determination will learn to walk again. There is no doubt in our minds that Chris will recover to live an independent life. Chris’s mother, father, and younger brother have been with him throughout his journey from the initial days in Germany to BAMC, and Palo Alto. The military and Fisher Foundation have provided funds to cover a portion of the transportation and housing costs for the family. The goal of our fundraiser is to be able to raise monies to assist Chris and his family with travel and other expenses so they may continue to be bedside to provide general and morale support during his rehabilitation and future expenses Chris will no doubt incur on his journey to independence.