Seven years after Capt. Greg Galeazzi lost both of his legs and severely injured his right arm while serving with the U.S. Army in Afghanistan, he’s showing the profound power that can come from perseverance.
After overcoming seemingly insurmountable medical odds, Galeazzi is studying at Harvard Medical School in hopes of becoming a medical doctor.
Galeazzi’s incredible and harrowing journey took a tragic turn when the detonation of an improvised explosive device in May 2011 forever changed his life, as ABC News reported.
The horrific event unfolded only a month before he was due to head back home, with Galeazzi telling CNN in 2014 that the explosion felt like he was “hit by a wrecking ball.”
“All I could do was scream. It’s hard to put into words that sickening, nauseating feeling to see that my legs were just gone,” he told ABC News of the injury. “I put my head back and just thought, ‘I’m dead.'”
Considering that Galeazzi’s team was in a remote location, there were no available, on-site medics to help with pain management or to treat his very serious injuries.
After he passed out, his fellow soldiers applied tourniquets and a medical helicopter came to take him away for medical assistance.
What followed were more than 50 surgeries in addition to rehab and treatments, but throughout the horrific ordeal, Galeazzi never gave up his dream to become a doctor, according to ABC News.
“Not only did I still want to practice medicine, but it strengthened my resolve to do it,” he said.
So, he forged on, taking 18 pre-med courses amid his recovery and scoring well on the MCAT. Now, he’s a student at Harvard Medical School and he’s slated to get married next year.
Not only did Galeazzi refuse to give up hope, but he persevered beyond measure, inspiring us all.
“Even though I’ve gone through this journey, it’s not lost on me how unbelievable this ride has been,” he said.
Galeazzi recently wrote on his blog that he has “overcome some pretty harrowing life challenges” and that “medical school is going to be an entirely different struggle.”
So, with that in mind, he asked for well wishes, but said he’s eager to take the challenge on.
The retired Army vet has also inspired people with his story in the past, delivering an inspirational speech in 2013 at his alma mater, Glastonbury High School in Connecticut.
“War is not like what you see on TV or in the movies or on video games,” he told seniors at the school. “It’s a disgusting mix of the best and worst the world has to offer.”
Galeazzi continued, “I have no regrets. I don’t regret a single decision I made while serving this country.”