Today is the three month anniversary of Dan’s “alive day.” True to the bumper sticker suggestion, Dan has been making huge strides (figuratively and literally) in recent days, and is well ahead of his projected rehab schedule. Before I get to any of that, I’d like to take this opportunity to highlight one of the many units that gave us this anniversary, the great men and women of the Air Force’s 55th Expeditionary Rescue Squadron, currently operating out of Kandahar Air Field. In three months of operations, these folks have flown 1,500 medical evacuation missions, and are a large part of why so many guys like Dan are still alive today.
Since my last update, Dan began walking short distances fairly effectively on his “shorties,” so the rehab staff at Walter Reed decided to accelerate his program and move him onto his permanent legs. These “C-Legs” (like you, I initially hoped the “C” stood for “cyborg,” but it turns out it’s just a plain old model number), have a microprocessor-controlled knee joint, and have revolutionized mobility for above-the-knee amputees. An explanation of how the C-Leg works and a pretty amazing video can be seen on the manufacturer’s webpage here.
Due to the ill-timed vacation of his compression-shorts tailor (you can’t make this stuff up), Dan hasn’t been able to begin walking on the C-Legs quite yet. He has stood on them and continued the socket fitting process though. Here are a few pictures:
The last bit of news to pass along is that Dan is scheduled to have yet another surgery tomorrow morning, this time to clean up some lingering issues on his stomach. It’s a fairly minor procedure by our current standards, but lest everyone think Dan’s life is all about hobnobbing with politicians and hanging out at the gym, it’s not going to be much fun, so please keep him in your thoughts. We hope to have him back up to full steam by Thanksgiving.