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Man's brain injury steals his reading skills

A woman from Fostoria, Ohio, recently spoke on the changes that her son and her family have experienced because of war. The young man was on a mission, approximately one month before completing his service in the U.S. Army, when an improvised explosive device took both of his legs and caused a traumatic brain injury.

According to estimates from officials, the blast from the improvised explosive was enough to level a tank. The young man was not expected to live, but he survived 15 surgeries, two cardiac arrests and several infections caused by soil bacteria. The brain injury he sustained caused him to lose his ability to read and impaired other cognitive abilities.

He was 21 years old at the time of the explosion. In her speech, his mother spoke of how his independence had been taken away, of how his most painful injury could not be seen with the eyes, despite him having lost both of his legs.

After disproving the odds and surviving his personal battle, the soldier has been going through rehabilitation. Five years after the IED went off, he is now able to read at a first-grade level. Both mother and son have been working with the Wounded Warrior Project and, besides rehabilitation, the man is going through a pilot program to regain confidence. He is also working with a job coach so that he can become an assistant football coach for a junior high school.

His traumatic brain injury, despite receiving it while at war, should serve as a reminder to how devastating such an injury can be. Any worker who sustains a brain injury through no fault of his or her own while on the job should be entitled to some form of workers' compensation.

Source: Herald-Review, "Mother of injured veteran spreading word of Wounded Warrior Project," Rachel Rodgers, July 11, 2012

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