(WBIR-Maryville) A wounded warrior from Maryville has survived dozens of surgeries, months of rehab, and is now about to see his life take another dramatic turn.
February 19 will mark two years since a Taliban insurgent shot U.S. Army Master Sergeant Michael Trost five times. Trost was serving a mission near the Afghanistan, Pakistan border.
After more than 30 years in the Army, the master sergeant found himself in a wheelchair.
"I'm always in some level of pain," Trost said.
He now walks with a cane and uses a brace but it still takes extra effort to walk. That is expected to change.
Earlier this week, Trost spent time at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonia. The Center for the Intrepid is creating an Intrepid Dynamic Exoskeletal Orthosis (IDEO) leg brace for Trost. The IDEO is used to help severely injured patients return to a high level of activity.
BAMC created the prototype this week.
"Guys are running with it and it's not just walking, it's the ability to run again," Trost said.
Trost cannot lift his right foot up and has not run since the incident. The IDEO will help him walk faster and if he trains right, he could possibly run again.
"I get choked up just thinking about it," Trost said. "To get that piece of equipment and get out here on the street and run down the street would be amazing."
The Center for the Intrepid is also creating a thumb for Trost; the mold will strap on to his hand and be used for gripping objects. He lost two of his right-hand fingers during the attack.
"I was already given one opportunity, I'm alive," Trost said. "And if I don't take this opportunity I have now, I look back at all my buddies who didn't make it-- I owe it to them and everyone else before me to try to make the best out of my life so this is going to do it."
Trost will soon travel back to Texas for four weeks of training with the IDEO.