Navy Chief Petty Officer Kenton Stacy, an EOD tech, is recovering at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio from life-threatening injuries he sustained while working on an IED at a medical facility in Syria.
Operation Inherent Resolve Commander Lieutenant General Paul Funk discussed the harrowing efforts to bring Stacy home to U.S. soil after the injury.
Stacy has a long road to recovery.
Funk said after Stacy's surgery, special forces medics started life-saving procedures on the EOD tech. He was first flown to a surgical team in Raqqah, where every member of the team gave him blood to keep him alive.
"This is a surgical team, they get him stabilized after multiple surgeries, after multiple pints of blood. They get him stable enough to put him in the bird. They've opened his chest, his belly and the surgical team now is standing up strapped to the floor of this CV-22 massaging his heart on the way to the hospital," Funk said.
Normally, the flight lasts one hour and 20 minutes. The forces transported Stacy from Syria to a hospital in Baghdad in 48 minutes, according to Funk.
Along the transport, Stacy went through 42 pints of blood, Funk said.
At one point, a doctor said Stacy's wounds were not survivable. But the doctors continued to work on him, according to Funk.
"It's the will of the people to make this happen," Funk said.
General Funk discussed the efforts of one soldier, specifically, who helped the Navy EOD tech.
"Sergeant Abby gives out a call and said 'he we need more blood.' And she starts to put that together," he said.
Funk said a line of Coalition partners from around the world worked together to help Stacy.
Doctors then put Stacy in a CAT scan. Once the doctors realized they needed special equipment, a pulmonary bypass team assembled from around the country flew in to take care of the Navy EOD tech.
"All they know is there's a soldier or a great EOD operator in need and needs help," Funk said.
Once the surgery was complete and Stacy was stable enough to travel, doctors flew the EOD tech to Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, where he's undergone multiple surgeries as well.
Channel 6 spoke with Stacy's wife, Lindsey, a few weeks ago about his recovery and about how she is holding up.
To learn more about Chief Petty Officer Kenton Stacy's story, click here.