Wounded in Afghanistan, young veteran battles for a new life

When Army Pfc. Geoffrey Quevedo was airlifted late last year to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center after being severely wounded in Afghanistan, his family in California was told to hurry to Washington to say a final goodbye.

A blast from an improvised explosive device had ripped off his left foot and his left arm above the elbow. It knocked out four front teeth, broke his nose and jaw, and collapsed a lung. He was blinded in his left eye, and his blood loss was enormous.

But the doctors’ gloomy prediction failed to take into account the cavalry scout’s refusal to die. “The doctors didn’t know something: I’m a hard-head,” the 20-year-old said.

They also may have underestimated the military medical system’s ability to pull a young soldier back from the brink of death.

Read more in the Los Angeles Times about Quevedo’s recovery, and the care being provided to him and other service members at the Naval Medical Center San Diego. In response to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the center has become one of the nation’s top hospitals in treating traumatic amputations.

 

 

 

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