Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

December 6, 2012

Wounded Warrior stable after surgery

Prayer vigil scheduled for Anthony Walton and family

By Carson Gerber

— U.S. Army Specialist Anthony Walton was in stable condition Wednesday after undergoing a 90-minute surgery Tuesday to relieve brain swelling.

Teri Rose, a friend of the family who has been in daily contact with Walton’s wife, Rhonda, said the surgery was necessary after medication didn’t reduce the swelling and pressure.

Walton, who has three children under the age of 12, sustained a head injury Sunday after falling backwards on concrete in his Kokomo driveway. Although he cracked open the back of his head, doctors said the front part of his brain is bruised, indicating he fell hard.

Walton was wounded in 2011 while serving in Afghanistan, where he was shot over 30 times in his left arm during an enemy attack. He now suffers permanent double vision and immobility in his left arm.

Doctors are also investigating whether Walton’s military injuries may have resulted in a seizure which led to his fall on Sunday.

Rose said the family is staying upbeat about Walton’s condition, but she said a full recovery could take months.

“Anthony has a very long road ahead of him with his recovery, and the full understanding of the damage regarding brain function will be unknown for some time,” she said.

Rose said a prayer vigil for Walton and his family will be held at 6 p.m. today at 1515 N. Wabash St., where the nonprofit group Homes for Wounded Warriors has worked with local organizations to build the Walton family a new home. She said the house is nearly complete.

“We’re asking everyone from the public to attend,” Rose said. “You don’t need to know the family to come out and lift them up in prayer, because that’s what they really need right now.”

Carson Gerber is a Kokomo Tribune reporter. He may be reached by phone at 765-854-6739, or by email at carson.gerber@kokomotribune.com.