So I left you hanging, I understand it's not much fun.It's not much different from what was happening as we played the waiting game. What was going on with Jason and when would I get to be with him? Twenty-four hours passed and the information received had changed little.
I know there was one phone call that added to the first, explaining that Jason no longer had an eye, that he was blind, and still very unstable. As a result, I remember sitting at a large desktop computer after that call, searching for and researching eye transplants. Days later Marines show up at the door; a phone call was received minutes before the doorbell rang and this was to be just a prep visit.
I sat on an ottoman that day across from these men as they informed us of what was happening. It's weird because I don't remember what they said in full sentences, just keywords. Jason's brain was swelling, blood, pneumonia, no eyes, not responding to meds, and dying. It was another one of those moments where I remember the tears and how they felt on my face. Tears streaming down as I watched these men through blurred vision just do their job and be the bearers of bad news.
After sustaining injuries he was flown to Baghdad, Iraq and when stable enough, he was flown to Germany. Due to Jason's critical condition, he was transported with a body bag and it stayed with him during stops. Our new passports got back to us in just 48 hours due to some massive strings being pulled. I was ready to fly halfway across the world to be with him. However, he only spent 36 hours in Landstuhl, Germany before being transported to Bethesda Naval Hospital. Jason arrived in the States just a day shy of two weeks after the explosion. The odds were stacked against him, the odds were stacked against us.
I had absolutely no idea what I was about to encounter when I first saw Jason. I had no reference point at the time for severe traumatic injuries. I had no idea what a bomb can do to a body, and by no means did I have any understanding of a wound large enough to require more medical attention than stitches.
It all seems so surreal now; walking up to those glass windows in the ICU, all of the machines providing life, and the bed. That bed holding the body with tubes running out of it. The body in a blue gown with a head wrapped with pristine, white gauze as it seemed to mask the truth. That body so swollen, silent, and still.
That body, Jason's body. Lying there fighting for life.
It's an image I will never forget. A memory frozen in time that reminds me that everything leads us to a choice. With absolutely no idea of where I would land when it all was said and done, I went after him anyway.