After sustaining life-threatening injuries during combat operations in Raqqa, Syria, U.S. Navy Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) Chief Kenton Stacy recently received a special visit as he continues to recover at TIRR Memorial Hermann in Houston.
Stacy was critically wounded in November as one of the few elite Navy EOD operators assigned to a Special Forces unit tasked with clearing areas which had been held by ISIS fighters.
While his team was clearing improvised explosive devices from the second floor of a hospital that had been rigged with booby traps, one of the devices detonated within just a few feet of Kenton, injuring his spinal cord and forever changing his life. Stacy was brought to TIRR Memorial Hermann, where he has since received highly specialized care for his injuries.
Earlier this year, Kenton was recognized by President Trump in his State of the Union Address for his bravery and service. Since coming to TIRR Memorial Hermann, Kenton is now able to utilize a wheelchair on his own.
“It is an honor to take care of someone like Kenton Stacy," said Dr. Matthew Davis, TIRR Memorial Medical Director of the Spinal Cord Injury Program. “His resilience and determination can be sensed by all of his care team as he continues to work hard in his rehabilitation.” Dr. Davis is an assistant professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the McGovern Medical School at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth).
Recently, his friend, U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander Mike McMahon, made a trip to Houston to meet with Stacy and participate in the Memorial Hermann IRONMAN Texas North American Championship in Stacy’s honor.
“I just wanted to put forth the effort that was in honor of him and worthy of his cause and his struggle,” said McMahon.
Watch a video of their special reunion.
The complexity of spinal cord injuries requires highly specialized skills of a healthcare team. TIRR Memorial Hermann was one of the first facilities in the United States to establish a spinal cord injury center and is internationally recognized for its expertise in the management of tetraplegic spinal cord injury patients who require a ventilator for breathing, including patients who are able to wean from the ventilator. Continually recognized as one of America's Best Hospitals by U.S. News & World Report, TIRR Memorial Hermann is a national leader in medical rehabilitation and research.