This was hard to watch, but nothing compared to seeing him at 5AM when it was aired on CNN. It was another angle so I could see a hand in his neck I later heard was 2 rolls of cotton, to soak up the blood so another could see the arteries to pinch them, until a helicopter landed to bring T.J. to where he had surgery. I was in so much shock as I saw the Leg and body they showed blown but many others that T.J. told me were from a post near bye.other . I thought T.J. was probably dead when the the helicopter to came down. I have learned about 15 soldiers risked their lives for T.J. that day.e"Amazing"! When T.J. was taken off of critical list Mike handed me the phone saying it's a surgeon. He said I am the luckiest Mom in the world, because he had done thousands of surgeries and only knew of two others surviving a sliced Carotid Artery. I believe prayer guided these soldiers that saved him, as I went through the Facebook alphabet begging for prayers, and also in Private groups. We are so Blessed!" There are no words to tell these soldiers that risked their lives more than ever top save my beautiful son. My tears are falling just thinking about it, and all I can say is Thank You a trillion times over, and God Is Good!
My son is Derek Tope. He is the former medic who saved your son, and was also in the blast that hurt T.J. Derek spent 4 years as a medic - 2 tours in Iraq (Ramadi & Sadr City). He honorably discharged after seeing too much as a medic. He suffered a serious bout of PTSD prior to his second tour. Derek reinlisted as an infantryman, medic qualified - he said he didn't want to plug any more holes, but loved his job. I told him before this deployment that he would plug holes if someone dropped at his feet and his comment was "I don't know if I can".
came home to a wife who had spent every dime & was in trouble with
the law. He was suffering issues with kidney stones, stress from PTSD,
& multiple concussions. Derek made some not so great decisions, and
his platoon prosecuted him - ignoring any issues related to PTSD &
TBI. He is currently sitting in Mirimar Brig with no access to
treatment for PTSD, TBI, or his kidney stones.
Your son testified on Derek's behalf. Derek told me the prosecutors would not believe that Derek saved your son's life. They said that your son probably would have been fine without Derek. I'm really grateful that others can see that Derek did what he needed to do. I told Derek that is God needed him, he would use him. He didn't like to hear that, but I think he believes me know.
I am currently trying to raise awareness of what happened to Derek, and make some policy changes on how behavioral changes are treated post deployment. I have a page to support Derek at: https://www.facebook.com/SupportSgtTope & a page to help make policy changes at: https://www.facebook.com/idefeatptsdtbiI am so grateful to your son for supporting Derek through this situation, and I'm blessed to know that my son saved yours.