Lance Corporal Marine Cody Evans was injured during an explosion in Afghanistan
When East Tennessee Marine Lance Corporal Cody Evans returns to his room Monday evening at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, he will get back to the business of setting personal records for how far he can walk.
"There's days when it's rough and there's days when it goes pretty well," said LCPL Evans.
The 27-year-old Marine lost both legs in a bomb blast back in December on patrol in Afghanistan.
"We had a dog with us and he was up ahead of me and he managed to dodge hitting it somehow and then when I went across I stepped on it," said LCPL Evans who says he never lost consciousness in the blast and can recall almost every detail of his rescue.
"The guys that were with me, they were all pretty amazed how well composed I was. They bragged on me especially to mom," said LCPL Evans.
Earlier this month 10 News visited LCPL Evans on the Walter Reed campus in Bethesda. Since he arrived, his mother Regina has remained a constant in his life, rarely leaving his side. The two share a two bedroom apartment at the military hospital and rehab center.
"Oh, I would love to go home. We are here as long as it takes. As long as he needs to be here, that's where we are going to be," said Ms. Evans.
Cody spends his days focused on healing. He's suffered fractures in his hand and uses baking classes to help add strength to his grip.
"We did a strength test last month and it had roughly a third of the strength that my left hand did," said LCPL Evans.
His therapy involving his legs is more intense and tiring. LCPL Evans must strap on his prosthetic limbs and get used to walking with canes before advancing in his therapy. He often spends a couple hours a day relearning how to walk and testing his physical limits.
"I say it everyday but I've been really lucky. I know it doesn't seem that way but there's guys here that have gone through a lot worse than I have," said LCPL Evans.
He told us his goal is to move up to prosthetics that have mechanical knees that offer even more mobility. But on campus, he says his doctors and therapists focus on short term progress suggesting that's where LCPL should focus most of his attention.
"Today's been pretty good," said LCPL Evans, though admittedly a bit drained from his early therapy work.
Just last weekend the military granted him medical leave to make a surprise trip home to see his family. He thanked friends and strangers for all the work they have done to modify his house and ease his transition home.
"Had an amazing weekend!!!!!," was one of the most recent posts from his Facebook page.
Monday marked his return to Bethesda and getting back to his goal of getting a little better everyday.