Monday, November 12, 2012
Troops hold 'Buddy Walk' in Afghanistan for fellow soldier's son
from Fox 10 TV by Joe Salvatore:
An Alabama Army National Guardsman whose son died in September received a grand gesture from his unit in Afghanistan.
Jeff and Kelly Carroll already have three kids, their fourth child, Lewis, was born on July 28, 2011.
“He came three weeks early, and we found out at birth he had Down Syndrome. And he also had something called Hirschsprung's Disease, which is something with the bowel; he can't go to the bathroom,” said Kelly Carroll, Lewis’ mother.
Lewis spent the first two months of his life at the USA Children's and Women's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
He had an emergency Colostomy to help with symptoms from Hirschsprung's Disease .
“He came home September 26, 2011, and he's been home just thriving,” said Kelly Carroll.
In January, Lewis had another surgery to reverse his colostomy.
“And they had complications, where he almost died. He was in the PICU for a week on a ventilator,” said Kelly Carroll.
Lewis pulled through and endured more surgeries this year to correct his problems.
His last operation was in July; he came home and was doing well.
“He got sick one day and died the next,” said Kelly Carroll.
“Nothing can prepare you for that, it's indescribable how you feel,” said Army National Guard 1 st Lieutenant Jeff Carroll, Lewis’ father.
The Carroll’s became involved with the Down Syndrome Society of Mobile County when they found out their son had Down Syndrome.
They walked in its annual Buddy Walk when Lewis was just a few months old and did it again this past Saturday, October 20th, 2012 to honor him.
“Members of my battalion found out about the Buddy Walk, one of them Captain Glenn Smith. He decided to organize his own Buddy Walk, there in Afghanistan,” said Jeff Carroll.
Hundreds of military men and women from every branch put on boots and hit the sand at night and walked during the same time the Carroll’s walked in Mobile’s Buddy Walk.
“I was just speechless, what can you say. We call it the Guard Family and it just says it right there,” said Jeff Carroll.
Jeff Carroll says his National Guard unit in Afghanistan is a combat unit and he was moved by their ability to put a mission on hold and walk for his son.
The Carroll’s said they raised $16,000.00 this year for the Down Syndrome Society and plan to stay involved with the organization.
If you would like to donate to the Down Syndrome Society of Mobile, click here .