Aboard a Stryker vehicle with 4 other soldiers in Baghdad, an IED bomb exploded without warning underneath the asphalt while Sgt. Michael Boothby was standing on the gunner seat.
He collapsed a few minutes later after the explosion due to the wound on his head. Surviving his first craniotomy, he was airlifted to Germany to undergo further medical procedure and was moved to the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland were a total of 3 craniotomies were performed on Michael with doctors removing a big portion of his skull.
Medical officials at the Naval Center were not optimistic of his recovery. With constant vigil and prayers of his wife Megan, family and friends, he awoke from coma fourteen days after and was released for outpatient therapy two months after his hospital stay. Despite his recovery, he remained confused, agitated and not as coherent. He developed inter-cranial pressures where specialists at the Brookes Army Medical Center performed surgery on him for non-pressure hydrocephalus and shunt replacement.
He was then moved to Warm Springs Rehabilitation Hospital of San Antonio where he showed remarkable progress as an in-patient. His physician, therapists and caregivers remember of his positive outlook and sheer determination to get well. He was a willing participant to all his therapy sessions with consented effort to achieve the best results possible in his way to recovery. Michael rarely complained despite the discomfort of wearing a padded helmet to protect his head that held three pieces of shrapnel in his brain. Michael exemplified pure joy in just knowing that he was chosen to live and survive this ordeal.
For his strong faith, courageousness, and valor, we salute Sergeant Michael Boothby.