Less than a month before their 5th wedding anniversary, Laura Browning-Grant received a nightmarish phone call that changed her life forever.
On the 17th of March, her 35-year-old husband and Navy SEAL, Jon Grant, had been in a car accident and was unresponsive. Jon had suffered a severe brain injury called diffuse axonal injury (DAI) and was in a coma with a slim chance of survival and no clear path forward.
“I went into shock mode, thinking, ‘Tomorrow he is going to wake up and be fine and walk again,’ ” Laura said.
Days turned into weeks as Jon slowly regained consciousness. After 17 long days in the hospital, Jon, who was a combat medic instructor, squeezed his wife Laura’s hand. It was a small step but it was nearly a month after when he was declared fully conscious.
I don’t have my husband to talk to. Sometimes, when I leave the hospital at the end of the day, I think, ‘I just miss my husband.’
By early April, Jon had finally stabilized and was showing daily signs of improvement. He could now eat without a feeding tube, breath without apparatus and he was relearning basic tasks as his brain recovered from the trauma.
Jon still wasn’t himself and so his wife left their home in North Carolina to move into a hotel near Jon’s rehabilitation facility in Virginia. Laura spent around 9 to 10 hours every day by her husband’s side during his healing process.
Laura was starting to lose hope but then Jon did something that gave her strength. While she was helping him during his walking exercises, he leaned over and kissed her on the neck. At that moment, she knew she was getting her husband back.
It gave me the chills — him kissing me back, you don’t realize how much that means until it’s almost taken away from you.
Jon’s honourable discharge from the military has already begun. Laura’s sister set up a Go-Fund-Me account for Jon and Laura to cover future medical costs once Jon’s benefits run out, and it’s already raised over $105,792 of its $100,000 goal.
Jon’s prognosis is still unclear, but his adoring wife continues to stay confident that her husband will find a way to thrive as his old self once more.
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