Totally motivated Hendrix hopeful 74th surgery is successful
From the intensive care unit at Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, D.C.,Brent Hendrix said Monday afternoon he is "totally motivated" by the medical staff there and hopes he can get out of the hospital soon and begin walking again.
Seven years ago on June 27, 2006, Hendrix was an Army specialists working a personal security detachment in the Anbar Providence of Iraq when a bomb exploded underneath the Army vehicle. In addition to the above-the-knee amputation, he also had two broken femurs, lost his heel, shattered his ankle, broke his remaining fibula, broke his jaw in two places and lost several teeth.
He cheated death at least twice according to those who attended to him immediately
He underwent his 74th surgery on his wounded left leg last week that has not responded to prior surgeries. He also has an above-the-knee amputation on his right leg.
Hendrix, 28, a 2003 graduate of Chase High School and former Forest City resident, said he is hoping to get out of the hospital so he can get some rest.
"I can't really get much here from all the pain, blood drawings and the constant wound care, but this hospital has me really motivated since the surgery seems to be getting better every day," he said on his Facebook page. "I'm just trying to stay focused."
The 13-hour surgery last week required extensive skin grafts after opening the wound once again.
Three years after the loss of his leg and life changing injury, Hendrix
completed the Wounded Warriors program in Florida and became a retired veteran in 2009.
Hendrix is desperately working to stop smoking cigarettes.Being in the intensive care unit for over a week has helped since he can't leave without an escort.
His new graft/flap on his leg must receive all the oxygen it can since the old scar tissue was cut out and replaced with clean tissue.
"It will actually have a good chance of getting worse, if I don't," he said of smoking. He is undergoing cigarette intervention at the hospital.
Hendrix talked Monday about his return to Iraq in May 2010. "It was such a relief off my plate," Hendrix said of the trip back. "To go back where I was hurt . . .it felt good. When I got taken out of that country, it wasn't my decision."
In Iraq he addressed a town hall meeting with service members at Joint Base Balad, Iraq, as part of Operation Proper Exit. He served his tour in Iraq in Mosul and Rawah.
Operation Proper Exit is a program created to aid injured service members in the health process of their wounds from battle.
He addressed the other soldiers there. "Everyday, just to be able to get up and act like a normal human being and a normal guy, it's a difficult process. I have to get up every morning and put a leg on. There's always that extra step."
"Everything happens for a reason. Whatever is in front of me, I will try to do," Hendrix said Monday. "I'm trying to do something to help with the Boston Marathon victims making contacts with the Department of Defense regarding the amputees."
Once the leg is healed internally, he may have to return to Washington for another surgery to remove extra tissues.
He hopes to be moved from ICU to another room in a few days and out of the hospital soon. He isn't sure what he will do in the future after the leg heals. But he has plans and goals to help his family.
He still has plenty of hope and motivation.