Marine recovers from burns suffered in Iraq - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Marine recovers from burns suffered in Iraq

September 15, 2005

Albany -- Corporal Terry Ellis is in a lot of pain, but says being home is helping. The 21 year old Marine was critically burned in Iraq in August.

 He has to undergo extremely painful therapy, but with his family's help, his recovery is going well. Terry Ellis' father helps him stretch out his left arm, to keep the nerves stimulated.

Corporal Ellis admits he is not sure which base in Central Iraq he was at August 12th. A member of the Second Food Services Unit, Ellis was fixing meals for the troops, filling up the fuel tank on two generators running the mess hall. Ellis said "Flame flashed out at me. Before I had a chance to move another flame came out and I was on fire." 

The 21 year old had second and third degree burns over his upper body. Ellis said " my face, both arms, part of my chest and my back."

Ellis was flown to the Brook Army Medical Center in San Antonio, where his Mother and Father stayed the next month with him. Deborah Ellis said "I'm Dr. Mom now. Dr. Mom. He's going to be OK? Yea, he's going to be OK."

 Ellis got home Tuesday, and his family helps him continue painful stretching of scar tissue. Terry Ellis said "I have to keep it stretched as much as possible. Because if not I would have to have surgery again."

Deborah Ellis said "I'm very proud of my son. And I'm glad what he's doing for the country."

 A sack full of medications and pain killers, and unending physical therapy is his duty now. Ellis says his grandfather, a staff sergeant in the Marines, is his inspiration, as he shows Marine spirit in his recovery. soundbite-Ellis said "Through it all, I'll make it. Just take it one day at a time."

Terry Ellis says his future plans are to finish his final year in the Marines, then work in the food industry. But right now physical therapy and getting well are his top priority.

Corporal Ellis has to report back to the San Antonio hospital October 13th.

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