A wounded Army veteran is going from being a patient to being a future doctor, according to ABC News.
In 2011, Capt. Greg Galeazzi was wounded by a roadside bomb during his deployment to Afghanistan, only a month before he was scheduled to return home.
“It felt like I was an empty Coke can on train tracks getting hit by a freight train moving at 100 miles per hour,” Galeazzi told ABC News of the explosion.
Galeazzi lost both of his legs and part of his right arm in the blast. There was no medic available at the scene to give him pain medication.
“All I could do was scream,” Galeazzi said. “It’s hard to put into words that sickening, nauseating feeling to see that my legs were just gone.”
Galeazzi said his unit was in a remote location at the time of his injury, and he didn’t think medical help would arrive in time to save his life.
“I put my head back and just thought, 'I’m dead,'” he said.
Galeazzi lost consciousness. When he woke up, he discovered that his soldiers had applied tourniquets to both his legs and right arm. A helicopter arrived about half an hour later to take him to the trauma bay.
“What I found out then was that the real nightmare was really just beginning,” he said.
He spent the next few months undergoing over 50 surgeries and hundreds of hours of physical therapy as a hospital in-patient.
Galeazzi realized that the loss of his legs and the months he spent in a hospital did not take away his dream of becoming a doctor.
“Not only did I still want to practice medicine, but it strengthened my resolve to do it,” he said.
Galeazzi took over 18 pre-medical courses and worked to achieve a high score on his MCAT entrance exam. He was then accepted into Harvard Medical School. He told ABC News that he is the only student who uses a wheelchair in his class of 165.
Galeazzi said he met his, fiance Jazmine Romero, in one of those pre-med classes. The couple plans to marry next year.
“Even though I’ve gone through this journey, it’s not lost on me how unbelievable this ride has been,” Galeazzi said.
He said he doesn’t yet know what field of medicine he will pursue but likes the idea of being a primary care doctor.
“You’re that first line of defense. You need to know a little bit about everything. I like the idea of being a jack of all trades,” he said.