SAN ANTONIO - Navy EOD Tech Chief Petty Officer Kenton Stacy may be improving since an IED blast severely injured him back in November in Syria, but he still has a long road ahead.
Channel 6 paid a visit to the Army's Institute of Surgical Research, or Burn Center, at Brooke Army Medical Center to speak with his family about his progress.
"He just says he wants to go home a lot, I feel like he's trapped in his own mind, having a lot of anxiety, says he can't breathe, he needs more air," said his high school sweetheart Lindsey.
Lindsey has been by his side every day, and she said Kenton's mom has been staying with her and the kids during Kenton's hospital stay.
Stacy was injured serving for the Operation Inherent Resolve campaign, supported by Fort Hood's III Corps and led by Commanding General Lieutenant General Paul Funk.
"(Stacy is) much more alert. He's has his surgeries on his eyes and he's blind in his left eye now," his wife said.
But Stacy's wife is still concerned for what lies ahead.
"Just thinking of the future scares me," Lindsey said.
Kenton is paralyzed at the moment -- a quadriplegic. But, Lindsey said her husband's C5 vertebrate is not completely severed, which means he could someday regain the ability to move.
"He's never been the anxious type, so this is something new," she told Channel 6 Military Reporter Jillian Angeline.
Two days a week, Lindsey brings one of their four children to see Kenton. She calls it a form of rehab. The kids interact with him at the inpatient gym inside the Burn Center.
"Our oldest who has cerebral palsy, he is more scared when he came in the other day, Mason is probably the best with him, he actually played games with him," Lindsey said.
It was Anna's turn on Friday.
"He's a great dad," said Lindsey. "Just breaks my heart to think he may never do those things again," referring to past videos she posted on the #StacyStrong Facebook page of Kenton playing with his kids.
Lindsey said walking through the doors of the hospital is a new norm, but hopes not for long. Looking forward a year from now, Lindsey said she hopes to be back with Kenton and the kids in San Diego.
For now, Kenton and his wife are lip reading with each other, taking it one day at a time with lots of help from doctors and specialists.
"It's just great to see the compassion and determination they have with my husband," Lindsey said.
Kenton may be headed to another medical facility to get more specialized treatment soon.
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