Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

December 3, 2012

Wounded Warrior in induced coma from new injury

Community has been working to build Anthony Walton a new home.

By Carson Gerber
KOKOMO TRIBUNE

— U.S. Army Specialist Anthony Walton remains in intensive care from a head injury sustained Sunday afternoon after he fell on concrete in his Kokomo driveway.

Walton was airlifted Sunday to St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis, where he remains in a medically induced coma.

Teri Rose, a friend of the family who has been in daily contact with Walton’s wife, Rhonda, said Walton fell backwards and cracked open the back of his head. However, she said the internal damage remains in the front of his brain, which indicates he fell hard.

Rose said Walton, who has three children under the age of 12, was taking some things from his vehicle to the house when he fell, but no one observed the incident. She said his young son, Noah, discovered him lying in the driveway, and informed Rhonda, who called an ambulance.

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

Since August, the nonprofit group Homes for Wounded Warriors, based out of Grissom, has worked with local organizations to raise money to build the Walton family a new home. Rose said the family hopes to move in before Christmas. Numerous community fundraisers have been hosted for the project over the last four months.

Rose said Walton will remain in a medically induced coma for the next few days, and will remain at St Vincent’s for an indeterminate amount of time after that.

She said the amount of damage to his brain is unknown at this time. Doctors will know more once the pressure and swelling in his head reduce, she said, at which time a neurologist can conduct an examination.

“There’s a 99 percent chance he’ll be fine, but no one knows what he’ll be like when he comes to,” Rose said.

She said Rhonda and the family are staying optimistic, and are hopeful Walton will make a full recovery.

“Nobody realizes what a fighter Anthony is,” Rose said. “This isn’t going to be the way Anthony is going to go out. He’s got too much to do yet in this community.”

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