Thursday, June 21, 2007

Army Sgt. Frank Sandoval

Remember Our Heroes

Army Sgt. Frank Sandoval suffered severe head injuries in November 2005 when he was hit by shrapnel from an IED in Iraq. He lost his battle on June 21, 2007, after a surgery to implant an artificial "bone flap" - a prosthesis that would replace the portion of his skull that was lost in the 2005 incident. Initially, the surgery appeared to be a success, but when he did not awaken soon after the operation, a CT scan revealed massive swelling of the brain. Sandoval immediately underwent another surgery to remove the flap, as well as another portion of his skull to relieve the pressure. The reason for the swelling remains unclear, and Sandoval never regained consciousness.

Soldier wounded in Iraq in 2005 near death
The Associated Press

A Yuma soldier who was wounded two years ago during his second tour of duty in Iraq, is expected to be taken off life support later this week.

Reports that Sgt. Frank Sandoval had died Monday at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Palo Alto, Calif., were erroneous, according to The Yuma Sun.
Sandoval had undergone surgery last week to replace a missing skull piece with a prosthetic mold.

The hospital declined to further comment on his death.

Sandoval was injured in November 2005 in Baghdad after he volunteered to be in the lead vehicle on a patrol. He had been manning a .50-caliber machine gun mounted on a Humvee when an explosion from a roadside bomb caused a projectile to become lodged in his right temple, forcing doctors to remove a piece of his skull.

After he was evacuated by air, Sandoval made his way to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., and on Christmas Eve 2005, Sandoval's wife and parents were there as he woke from a deep coma.

Sandoval spent most of last year in a hospital before eventually returning home to Yuma in September. He underwent extensive physical, speech and occupational therapy at Yuma Rehabilitation Hospital, relearning how to do things that were once simple for him, such as grooming and getting dressed.

He received a Purple Heart for his injury and a Bronze Star, the fourth-highest combat award for bravery in the U.S. military.

At a Yuma ceremony honoring him in March, Sandoval said to the crowd, "I feel honored by all this. But the honor was to serve my country."

In November, Sandoval was reunited with his former unit, Battery B of the 2nd Battalion of the 5th Field Artillery, which had been ordered to Yuma Proving Ground from Fort Sill, Okla.

Family friend Yolie Canales said she knows the Sandovals will make it through this tough time.

"The Sandovals are a very united and loving, loving family, and they will grieve together and support each other," she said. "I know they are extremely saddened. But because their faith is so strong they will find lots of comfort knowing that he is in the Lord's hands now."


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...