Wounded SPC Kit Lowe to receive Bronze Star

SPC Christopher "Kit" Santiago Lowe in Afghanistan last summer.

Rex’s can’t post today due to extremely poor Internet connectivity so I am using the space to update everyone on the recovery of Rex’s friend and former camp mate SPC Christopher “Kit” Santiago Lowe. As many of the readers of this blog will remember Kit was wounded in August in a Taliban ambush in Kapisa Province (you can read about the ambush here).

SPC Lowe recovering at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Sept. 09

Kit has been recovering at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. and underwent major surgery in January to repair his right leg (he had no feeling below the knee after being shot).

Unfortunately the results of the surgery were less than promising. Although the surgeons tried to repair the nerve damage they could only do part of the needed grafts. The

SPC Lowe with Lt Gen John Allen, USMC, Deputy Commander, US Central Command, Aug. 2009

tibial nerve was grafted; this nerve controls sensation on the bottom of the foot.  It also may give Kit control to ‘push off’ with his leg and foot and the ability to move his foot side to side to some degree.

The peroneal nerve was not grafted because the damage was too extensive.  This nerve controls the ability to lift up the foot. Nerves grow from the site of injury to the ‘end of the line’– so they will need to grow from his low thigh area to his toes (roughly 2-3 years).

What does this all mean?

Kit has spent about 3 weeks in his immobilizer and he’s in a substantial amount of pain.  As you may know nerve pain is intense and hard to

During theraphy at WRAMC.

describe.  What will be difficult is the waiting as the nerve grows back~ 1 cm per month~ which is excruciatingly slow.

Good news is he can walk with a brace.  He will be able to drive a car, but it must be adaptive and he will have to learn to do that.

Needless to say this is not what Kit wanted. He wanted guaranteed full recovery. He is very worried about the career he wants so very much as an officer in the military, knowing that the ability to run or feel sensation in his lower leg may never return.

On the brighter side, Kit (who is a huge dog lover) will soon get a service dog to assist him with being aware of issues

Kit gives his Purple Heart to his old high school, Benedictine Military School in Savannah earlier this year ~ photo courtesy of WSAV-TV

(infections) in his leg.  He is still planning to continue his military career after completing his education at Georgia Southern.  He will be transferred home to the WTU at Ft Stewart very soon.  And this Thursday he will be presented with a Bronze Star V device for his action on that fateful day in August that changed so many lives.

UPDATE FROM KIT VIA TEXT MESSAGE ON 2-23-2010: “I can feel in two of toes on my right foot.”

Note: I’ll be sure to post pictures and video from the Bronze Star ceremony as soon as they are available on Thursday. And we’ll share more details about the feeling returning to his injured foot then too. What wonderful news!!!

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2 Responses

  1. I wish Kit all the very best. I also thank him for his service to our country.

    Paula Dowling
    New York

  2. I hope you feel better. Me and my fellow Daisy’s are very proud to have adopted you. Congratulations on receiving the Bronze Star.

    Hope you enjoyed receiving all the cards and pictures from us.

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