Putting Jessica back together

On August 8 we posted in full the first installment of the story by Star Tribune health care reporter Maura Lerner regarding the devastating brain injury suffered by Sgt. Jessica Clements in Iraq: “A purple heart for Jessica.” Lerner told the story of Jessica’s injury and recovery-in-progress with great humanity and without a trace of politcal comment. She let Jessica’s remarkable spirit shine through her story and let us see Jessica through the eyes of a loving mother.
As that installment concluded, Jessica awaited surgery for the reimplantation of skull fragments stored in her abdomen. Today Lerner brings the story up to date, reporting on Jessica’s August 18 surgery and on her continuing recovery: “Back from Iraq: Hoping to be whole again.”
This installment is equally the story of the physicians who are performing seemingly miraculous feats, of Jessica’s indomitability, and of Jessica’s family and fiance. Please don’t miss it, and don’t stop reading before you reach the striking conclusion.
The Star Tribune has also posted a slide show of photos and audio recordings that are accessible through this link. Below is a photo that ran with the first installment of Lerner’s story. Jessica’s spirit seems to radiate from the photo.
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The Star Tribune caption reads: “Staff Sgt. Jessica Clements, 27, faces many more months of rehabilitation work and additional medical procedures to recover from serious injuries she suffered while on duty in Iraq. Clements is being treated at the Minneapolis VA Medical Center and will eventually transfer back to Walter Reed Army Medical Center for continued treatment. One of Clements’ goals is to walk down the aisle at her own wedding without the aid of a cane.” (Star Tribune photo by Jim Gehrz.)

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