Just before Thanksgiving Brandi and Chris Taylor received the call they've always expected but dreaded: Their stepson, Taylor Odom, 19, was seriously injured during military training.
He just graduated three weeks ago from basic training and was working to be an EMT. He was scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan in February 2013.
Chris says a Humvee rolled over and threw Odom out of it.
"After it was all said and done, from what we understand, it was laying on him," Chris told FOX13 News.
Odom's biological mother and step-parents immediately left for Colorado where he was being treated. Odom was on life support for nearly a week, suffering a crushed pelvis, broken ribs, broken sacrum and bleeding in his brain.
"His short-term memory, he can't remember day to day what's going on. He can't fit the pieces together quite well," said Brandi.
Doctors have released Taylor to come home to Mississippi for inpatient therapy, but they cannot fly him home because of his lungs.
"We found someone who's willing to help us out to get him here but we have to raise as much of $5,000 that we can and that's with the Army discount," Brandi said.
Despite the tragic accident, the Taylors are still managing to find the blessings this Thanksgiving.
"We really believe that God is using this and we just don't know what for yet," Brandi said.
They say Odom still wants to return to service as soon as his injuries heal.
"He feels very strongly about being in the service. He has … I've been with him since eighth grade and he wanted to be in the service since day one," Brandi added.
Odom's family plans to take him for treatment at the Semmes-Murphey Neurologic and Spine Institute in Memphis, Tenn. They would like to bring him home in time for Christmas.
If you can donate money to get Odom home, a fund has been set up at the local M&F bank in Southaven. The fund is called "Private Taylor Odom Injured Soldier Fund" with the EIN number of 46-1426352 for tax exemption, or you can contact Brandi via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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