Wounds of War I: Marine Sgt. Eddie Ryan
A local Marine is home recovering from the wounds of war after friendly fire nearly cut his life short two years ago in Iraq.
Bullets pierced Sgt. Eddie Ryan's brain and jaw in April 2005 while he was serving in Husaybah, Iraq. Ryan and other Marines were standing on a rooftop when they were hit with friendly fire. The then 21-year-old, who was in an elite scout-sniper unit, was taken to Germany where a doctor almost passed him over, thinking he was too far gone to save.
"He says the only reason why I opened him up was because he was thrashing, moving his arms and legs fighting for his life," said Ryan's father Chris Ryan, a former Marine. The doctor told the Ryans their son's heart stopped beating twice.
Chris and Angie Ryan raced to Germany, hoping they would at least see their son before he died. But he survived, and now he's undergoing intense physical therapy. The 23-year-old is in a wheelchair and is learning how to speak and move again while living with seizures, pains and a traumatic brain injury.
Veterans Affairs gave the Ryans $50,000 to make their home wheelchair-accessible. Eddie?s care costs more than $250,000 a year. However, the VA cut the Marine's medical assistance in June, saying they were delivering what the patient needed. The family was forced to pay $800 a week to keep therapists coming.
"They should be knocking on our door saying, ?What do you need??" Angie said.
The VA recently restored the funding. The money will go a long way toward helping Eddie, nicknamed "Machete Eddie" by his comrades, reach his goals.
"I want to get up. I want to put the uniform back on," Eddie said. "I want to get back ? to Iraq."
Related information: HelpEddieRyan.com