SAN ANTONIO -- Brooke Army Medical Center is a staple in the San Antonio community, but if one doesn’t work or receive treatment there, one may not be aware of the medical miracles that happen there every day.
Micah Andersen received treatment there. He's one of those people whose life was saved because of the help he found at BAMC.
“They thought I was dead. They thought I was a goner,” Andersen said.
It was back in June when Andersen had a brush with death after encountering an explosive in Afghanistan.
“I stepped over and the next thing I know there’s a big poof of dust and dirt and my legs are above me and slammed on my back,” Andersen explained.
Microorganisms from the Afghanistan soil, embedded in the IED, left Andersen with a fungal infection. It quickly spread to what was left of his legs.
“And that’s why they were cutting off little bits of the leg each time and trying to get ahead of it,” Andersen told KENS 5. “Finally they just went all the way up.”
Still in critical condition, Andersen was flown from a hospital in Germany to BAMC, in San Antonio, where new fungal-infection treatment procedures would eventually save his life.
“Two years ago, I don’t think I would have made it. In fact, I wouldn’t have made it. But now, the doctor's treatments are so good, it allowed me to make it,” Andersen said.
“We see these patients come back and they start their lives. That’s what motivated us to help the next soldier,” Dr. Booker King, director of the BAMC burn unit, said.
Doctors believe Andersen's infection is under control; however, there’s still a long road ahead of him, his wife and their baby.
Boise, Idaho, is home for the family. For now, Linzi Andersen and her baby are staying at the Fischer House -- a temporary home while Andersen is being treated at the hospital.
“It’s great to have this place I can call home for a couple of months. Because with everything else going on, at least, I knew I had a roof over my head, every night,” Linzi Andersen explained.
The recovery process will eventually lead to prosthetic legs in about two to three years, meaning San Antonio is home for the Andersens until then.
“We see the light at the end of the tunnel,” Linzi Andersen said. “We’re going to get out of the hospital and be able to have a house and be a family.”
In the past three years, about 100 troops have been diagnosed with the same fungal infection Andersen had. Many of them didn’t survive.