Michael Brattole, a sergeant in the U.S. Marines and 2006 Arthur L. Johnson graduate is recovering from serious injuries he sustained Friday during combat in Afghanistan.
News of Brattole's injuries, which required two surgeries to retrieve shrapnel from his heart, legs and arms, began to make its way to Patch over the weekend. Monday morning, Michael's uncle Rick Brattole confirmed that Michael was hit by a fragment grenade on Friday during conflict and sustained serious injuries. Michael Brattole was airlifted to a base hospital in Afghanistan where he underwent two surgeries. The first surgery was to stop the bleeding and remove visible shrapnel. The second procedure was open-heart surgery to remove shrapnel that had penetrated his heart. His uncle said that doctors said the surgeries went well, and Michael was then immediately flown to a hospital in Germany for additional testing and recovery. He also may have a broken elbow.
Brattole was taken off a ventilator today and is breathing on his own. He will be transfered on Tuesday to the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland to continue his recovery.
"The nurses in Germany are in contact with Mike's mom and dad," said Rick Brattole. "I know Mike is going to recover and do well. He's a tough kid, he's strong. He's going to have a lot of family support to get through all of this."
Before he signed a five-year contract with the Marines (which ends in October 2011), Michael played ice hockey for Johnson and lived on Cornell Drive with his mother, Jane, father, Frank, and older siblings, Frank and Melissa. He was deployed in early July. Michael's squad–2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, Echo Company–was recently profiled by KVAL News, a CBS outfit from Eugene, Oregon. Read that story here.