Sunday, March 06, 2005

An "excursion" with 1st Sgt Brad Kasal

Many folks are interested in 1st Sgt Brad Kasal's recuperation from injuries he received in Fallujah while serving in OIF-2. As a friend I will use this blog to do updates from time to time.

The injuries to 1st Sgt Kasal's right leg were severe. 5 or 6 rounds from an AK-47 completely shattered (read destroyed, obliterated, disintegrated) both bones about 6" below his knee. The doctor's at Bethesda were able to save his leg and set him on a course for recovery. That course consists of an incredibly painful devise ("far more painful than being shot") which is "transporting" his leg bone. In a previous update I said his leg was being "stretched", but that is not entirely correct. What is happening is this...... 1st Sgt Kasal's leg bones were sawed in half, in two locations (above and below the injury). The two sections of leg bone are being transported by an "Excursion" devise which has screws that actually move the bones inside Brad's leg. The device consists of 4 halos, and 16 pins, some 1/4" thick, protruding through his skin and muscle into his bones. The transporting which is taking place is closing the gap from the original injury while widening the gap from the doctor created injuries, which are filling in with naturally regenerating bone. This is being done to get his leg ready for a bone graft surgery. He still has a little over an inch to go, which will take a month or more to accomplish.

The doctors expect Brad to walk again, but not run. Brad says......"If I can walk, I'll run:" I for one believe Brad. The doctor's can diagnose a body's condition, but not a man's will. 1st Sgt Kasal is a man of extremely strong willpower, and I'm betting on him being able to run again someday, and pass the Corp's PFT (physical fitness test)

The story of how 1st Sgt. Kasal was injured is very interesting, and someday it will be told in it's entirety. Brad told me that he went into that building "because his marines were in there". One of "his marines" was Sgt. Norwood, whom President Bush honored at the State of the Union Address. Sgt. Norwood was killed in that building where such incredible damage was done to 1st. Sgt Kasal, PFC Nicoll, and 6 other brave US marines.