In recognition of Warrior Care Month, the following is the second in a three-part series focusing on one Fort Lee Soldier’s story of heroism and healing …

After spending two months at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., Staff Sgt. Jimmie Fedrick was transferred to McGuire Veterans Affair Medical Center in Richmond in September 2007.

He was treated for the significant loss of muscle to both thighs, nerve damage to both legs and his right arm. Because of the extensive trauma to his legs, Fedrick had to relearn those things taken for granted by most people, such as walking, sitting and bending.

The rehabilitation process demanded time and attention every day.

“The combination of physical therapy and physiotherapy makes me stronger and optimistic,” said Fedrick.

In order to improve arm and hand function, he invests time in daily physical therapy that includes sensitivity test, strengthening test and activity sensitivity test.

“This combination helps me to gain strength in my arm and hand again,” said Fedrick.

As a direct result of the physical therapy he has important muscles working again.

“I do not know when I will ever fully regain feeling in my two fingers” said Fedrick.

However, physical therapy has been a critical key in Fedrick’s recovery process.

“I now exercise 30 to 45 minutes a day, five days a week usually in the morning. The fine movements are improving all the time thanks to the therapy,” he said.

In addition to physical therapy rehabilitation at McGuire, Fedrick also has physio-therapy twice weekly, primarily focused on improving the loss of muscle mass.

Stricken with nightmares and a continuous battle with depression, Fredrick still remains confident that he will once again be productive. The optimistic diagnosis from his doctors at McGuire gives him all the hope he needs for a successful rehabilitation.

– See next week’s Traveller for Part III