This sad incident happened during his second deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The 107mm rocket shell exploded about three feet from Airman Kolfage, who was thrown several feet in the air and landed against a wall.
Brain who is married with 2 children, had to go through a series of surgical procedures to stay alive.
Read his story below;
On September 11, 2004, his life changed. He was a 21 years old airman serving in Iraq when a 107mm rocket landed right next to him as he was walking.
The rocket instantly liquified his legs, while he remained fully conscious and aware of everything. His friends at the war zone had their hands inside his legs, clamping the femoral arteries.
In extreme pain from bilateral thigh injuries, abdominal wounds, shrapnel in the right hand, and facial injuries, he was taken from the field to the nearby combat support hospital in Balad. Bleeding was controlled, volume resuscitation begun, a guillotine amputation at the thigh performed.
He underwent a laparotomy with diverting colostomy. His abdomen was left open, with a clear plastic bag as covering. He was on the edge of death, dehydrated and feeling extremely thirsty from all the hemorrhaging.
He knew it was bad and just told his friends to get home alive. The image below was taken minutes after the incident when he first arrived in the combat support hospital… still awake, still aware of what was going on. He passed out soon after this. He was given 21 units of blood from people being bussed in from all over the base waiting in long lines to donate blood to keep him alive. After that night he was loaded on a medevac flight and headed home.
Army surgeons determined that he would require more than 30 days’ recovery, if he made it at all. Therefore, although resuscitation was continued and a further washout performed, he was sent on to Walter Reed. There, after weeks in intensive care and multiple operations, he did survive. This is itself remarkable.
His recovery and joy in life have been living life to the fullest, education, family, and work.