Simple words have been hard for Carl Sampson to get out of his mouth. For instance, when he looked at a picture of a coffee cup, he couldn't say the word coffee.
A September 12th explosion in Iraq destroyed five percent of Sampson's brain. Doctors told his family that talking or walking would be virtually impossible for the soldier from the 890th.
According to Sampson, "My arm's not supposed to be frail like this," pointing to the right arm that barely moved. "And the leg won't move on its own. And then my mouth, you hear it's going any way it wants to."
Sampson hasn't listened to the doctors who said recovery was not likely. He's already survived three surgeries in Germany and Washington. Now, the Picayune native spends three days a week at Slidell Memorial Hospital's Wellness Pavilion.
Sampson must reteach his 36 year old body the motor skills he learned as a toddler. So one therapist works on his speech, another flexes his arms and shoulders. And a third therapists helps him walk.
His dream is that "my feet, my head, my hammer, my head, everything works the same as it did before I got hurt. That's what I'm hoping for."
Carl Sampson has a patch over his left eye, because he lost the eye during the bomb blast. This September, Sampson will undergo one more surgery. Doctors will try to repair the eye damage. Nobody knows how long Sampson will need physical therapy.
When he's healthy enough, he wants to go to the golf course.