(pic of Rodney's chest showing where shrapnel entered his body. I love that the pic shows the special dog tag I had ordered I gave him with a pic of him and Connor as well as my "little engagement ring he always wore on his dogtags :) )The wounds Rodney sustained from a mortar attack on Camp Marez in Mosul,Iraq after only being in country, boots on the ground for 42 days-
Some of the details of Rodney's wounds I knew when I found out the news and when I was officially notified by the Dept. of Army (DA) while others I found out over the next week and a half.
He had soft tissue wounds to both legs from the shrapnel fragments. The wound on his left leg was up high on his hip flexer. It was approx. the size of a babyfood jar lid and went clear to the bone. He lost a great deal of blood due to this wound and didn't bleed out only because one of the other soldiers put his knee and body weight on the wound to slow the bleeding. The wound on his left leg was located in the inner thigh area-it was much larger (you couldv'e layed a pop can in it-but not nearly as deep or life threatening). He had shrapnel wounds to the chest area-which in turn penetrated his lung and caused a collapsed lung as well as the chest cavity filling with blood. He had lost consiousness upon the blast happening but woke up and was aware most of the the time the medics and other soldiers were working with him before he was able to be transferred to the small base hospital. He wa taken into surgery for his lung issues, cleaning up of other wounds and he had exploratory abdominal surgery. He was put on a respirator. He was heavily sedated-drug induced coma and medvaced out of Mosul to Landstuhl, Germany-Army Hosptial with in a 36 hour period.(keep in mind Iraq is 8 hours ahead of us-central time)-After Landstuhl he was flown to DC and spent 2 days at a medical facility at Andrew Airforce Base then was sent to Eisenhower Army Hospital at Fort Gordon in Augusta, GA. While there a small piece of shrapnel was discovered during a routine CT-this piece was located in the center of his heart, in the muscle,between the four chambers. It was decided by the medical staff to leave it since it would most likely cause more damage to the heart to go in a remove it. The doctors were amazed and he shouldn't be here due to that one wound-he is a case study and there isn't many previous cases to use as research. The normal protocol for shrapnel in the body is to leave it (he has many small pieces throught his chest area and legs still today-that may or may not work their way out from underneath the skin by themselves over the years.) Rodney also suffers from PTSD, depression and possible TBI (tramamtic brain injury. He also has a few other medical issues due to the incident. He is still under the care of many doctors and is still on what they call "medhold". He goes to work for the Army everyday and continues to be a proud, patriotic soldier.
I believe Rodney is here by the grace of God- He is our Superman!