WASHINGTON (WUSA9) - He was shot in the head in Iraq ten years ago. Now, retired Army Captain Pat Horan is training for the Army Ten Miler.
Horan is a brother-in-law to WUSA9's Peggy Fox.
"We think back ten years ago, after Pat was shot, he had critical traumatic brain injury, and we weren't sure if he was going to survive. But, his drive, determination and positive attitude, have not only inspired his family and friends, but hundreds of supporters...as he trains once again for the Army Ten Miler," said Fox.
"I got hurt ten years ago. I've been learning ever since I've been hurt," said Pat.
"I can't believe it. Ten years has gone by almost in a blink," said Pat's wife Patty Horan. (Yes, it's Pat and Patty Horan.) "There were a lot of hard times."
"Pat was serving in Iraq in Iraq in the summer of 2007. They were making sure a roadway was clear of explosives. Him and a couple of guys went down to get water for the rest of his platoon. They took on fire and he was shot in the head," said Patty.
Pat was his in his left temple.
Pat's whole communication center in his brain "was obliterated. So basically, the diagnosis was very grim that he would ever be able to communicate ever again in any way," said Patty.
Pat also lost motor function on the right side because it was a left brain injury.
"So the left side of his body was, I don't want to say paralyzed, but it was for awhile. And he had to regain all the function on the right side of his body. And he's still working on it," said Patty.
Pat has a new trainer at Sport & Health in McLean who says he's made progress over the past five months.
"It's real important for him to get work, getting this right arm extended and stable...He's gotten stronger. He's gotten better with his right hand, his right arm. So, I'm encouraged," said Steven Head, Sport & Health Trainer.
"Coming to Pilates, having a personal trainer, is still so important, even ten years later. He has to work very hard," said Patty.
"When he's in here, he's always positive. He's always trying 100%," said Pilates instructor Chandra Soucek.
"Him getting up everyday, motivated me to keep getting up everyday and keep fighting for him and his recovery. So, I give him a lot of credit," said Patty.
"I have to wake up and thank God I'm still alive and then I'm alright. Let's go find something to do to get better fo myself," said Pat, whose English Lab service dog, Wilson, is by his side helping him keep his balance while walking.
"He's at a place where he has a good quality of life, which is really amazing. Because, in the beginning days, I really didn't think that was possible. And now, he's engaged in life, he's coming to the gym, He's able to get out and have meals with friends and family. We went sailing last weekend," reflected Patty.
And Pat has never lost his sense of humor. When asked about the compliments that he never complains, he replies, "not until I get home."
The Army Ten Miler is October 8th. Pat will be riding a recumbent tri-cycle along with other disabled veterans. The rest of Pat's Team (including Peggy and Patty and lots of other family members and friends) will be running...or trying their best to run the full ten miles.
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