Welcome to Anthony's caring bridge site. I am honored to give you all an opportunity to stay up-to-date with Anthony's progress as it happens.
Anthony is a Corpsman second class with the United States Navy. He is stationed with the second batallion, seventh marine unit out of Twentynine Palms, CA. He was deployed for his second tour of combat duty on January 29, 2007. Anthony takes great pride in his job and in "his" marines.
Anthony was injured on April 20, 2007 when a SVBIED (suicide vehicle born improvised e device) was detonated under an overpass where they were standing post. He and 7 other marines were injured in the incident. Anthony sustained a head injury, an injury to his lower back, a punctured right lung and minor scrapes and scratches on his legs, hands, arms and face. He was medivaced to 3 different medical stations before finally being sent to Landstuhl Medical Center in Landstuhl, Germany. There he was cared for by loving hands of the ICU nurses and doctors for just shy of a week. On Friday, April 27, 2007, he was then medivaced to the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, MD.
This year has been off to a busy start; I cannot believe we’re already knocking on the door of April...this year is already moving so quickly and I need it to stop, but I guess you can’t make it stop huh? Anthony; thank goodness, has been doing really well. He’s been healthy and more responsive and that has been such a pleasant change. He is STILL the strong and silent type, but I love him all the same. Anthony still is getting his version of PT. The VA is providing a CNA to come and do head-to-toe range of motion...I guess something is better than nothing. I’m still working on trying to find a private PT that has extensive knowledge and experience in neuro physical therapy. Meanwhile, more that several months ago, we linked up with the Wounded Warrior Project’s “Independence Program” and they have been working with us to get services for Anthony that the VA does not provide, so in February we were informed that the first service Anthony will receive is music therapy. This is where a music therapist comes to the house and jams out with Anthony and tries to evoke different emotions or reactions and we have had two sessions so far and they have been very productive! The therapist reached out to me before meeting Anthony and asked me all kinds of questions about his musical likes and dislikes and even asked me to provide a list of some of his favorite songs. So I sat down the night after speaking with her and flipped through his ipod and before I knew it, I had a detailed list of songs I remember him playing over and over again. I identified the songs that may have emotional memories for Anthony and she said she’d save those for last. The first time she came, she started playing and Anthony immediately tuned into her and would respond to her with his eye blinks and it was amazing; of course I was an emotional wreck...shocker. I can’t wait for the next session this friday. I was also just contacted by Impact a Hero, a non-profit organization that help to wounded warriors and their families, that they would like to induct Anthony into their Hall of Fame. How cool that they thought of Anthony, I’m so stoked for him and excited to see what happens. I’ll give more updates as I find them out. Other than all of this, Anthony keeps pushing forward and improving a little bit every single day. Thank goodness I married such a fighter!
AJ is doing great as well. He’s in first grade and is rocking it! I’m amazed how much he has improved in his reading this year...it’s like night and day and I love it. He has been very lucky to have such amazing teachers; I’m so grateful for them! AJ is just now starting spring season baseball and is playing on the Cubs again this spring with the same coach that he has played with the last three seasons. I’m happy to say that from the practices, it’s looking like this season may be different from the other two and that is very exciting. AJ had his spring break last week and he asked me to take him to the Alamo as suggested by a friend, so of course, I had to oblige him. If a kid asks to go and see a historical site, how do you say no? So we went to San Antonio on wednesday and had lunch with some dear friends there and spent the day and night with them and then thursday morning we headed on our way to downtown. I called Eric Morante, Anthony’s squad leader and my friend, and met him for breakfast and spent some nice quality time in his neck of the woods and then we headed to the Alamo. AJ found everything to be so fascinating and that made me more excited about it also. After seeing everything there was to see in the Alamo and even asking to see “the basement” we headed to the gift shop to pick up some souvenirs. While we were browsing the goods, we ran into my sweet, sweet friend and her son. We haven’t seen each other in almost a year and live less than 10 min apart and we have to travel 3 hours to see each other and hang out for a bit. The boys had a good time goofing around also. AJ and I have a trip coming up next week and we couldn’t be more excited about. We have had this trip planned for so long and it can’t get here soon enough.
As for me...in January I made a trip back to Tampa to attend a retirement ceremony to one of our fellow wounded warriors, Joel Tavera. That trip was the first time in years that me, Shannon, RyAnne and Veronica have been in the same place at the same time; it was so much fun to all be back together again. I got to see a lot of my Tampa family, but didn’t get to see some of, but no worries I’ll be back at the end of May and will make up for it then. February was a rough month; I was again diagnosed with pneumonia in mid-feb and this time was way worse than the first time. The pain was more and the symptoms were more severe. Luckily Mom and Dad were able to take AJ and Anthony’s nurses all worked together and I was able to do what i much needed...REST! I did A LOT of sleeping and drinking fluids. it took two weeks till I was back to any kind of normal and just in time too. My sister came to town the last weekend for a wedding of a dear friend in Austin, but before heading to Austin, Ivelisse and I had to make a trip to the Houston Show and Livestock Rodeo Cook-off. My brother is a member of a cook team there and it’s tradition to attend; it was Ivelisse’s first time to the cook off and my first time to go on Thursday night. I wasn’t 100%, but I sucked it up and enjoyed myself. The nest morning, we headed out to Austin with my folks and AJ and had a lovely weekend in the Texas capitol. The wedding was so lovely and the bride was so stunning and it was such a pleasure to meet her super fun husband. We got back from Austin and we had a couple more days with my sister and that was really nice, I do miss her and I hate not being able to see her as much as I would like. March came on quickly and before we knew it...here we are a week and a half from April.
A big change in our life is Anthony’s parents, Sheila and Stephen made the decision to make a move to San Francisco. Stephen has been working out of SanFran for over a year now and I think the back and forth has taken it’s toll. So it’s been a work in progress, but this week was the week. At first I was shocked they were leaving, then I was excited for them, but now that it has officially happened, I’m sad. I’m sad that they’re not a wee 15 min up the road and I understand why they’re doing it and I understand it’s not a forever move, but we are going to miss them...I am going to miss them. Sheila’s and my relationship has been unbelievably tried over the last, almost 8 years and we made it through the tough times and have come out on the other side a completely united and loving front and so this is a tough pill to swallow. I am still excited for this change for them, but I hope they understand that I am going to need frequent visits all around. Good luck Sheila and Stephen and I can’t wait for AJ’s and my first visit to see you guys! We love you and miss you already!!!
The first 3 months of 2015 have been busy ones and there is no sign of slowing down anytime soon. I’m thankful for the health and well-being of my friends and especially my family who I lean and depend on so much. I can’t believe in a month it will mark the 8th anniversary of Anthony’s injury. Has it really already been 8 years? How did I get through it all??? I look back and haven’t the foggiest idea, but whatever it is that has gotten me to here...please keep carrying me for the next 8 years and beyond. Please continue to offering your thoughts and prayers for Anthony’s continued healing and unending recovery, AJ’s continued health and happiness, my continued understanding and patience through life and for love and happiness to all those that I hold near and dear to my heart...that’s a substantial list; just saying. If I could also ask to keep a dear friend of mine in your thoughts and prayers as he is about to undergo a huge surgery that will change his life for the better. Peace and love to you all!