A Colorado Springs soldier was not expected to survive a critical injury he suffered in Iraq. His recovery was nothing short of miraculous. His family tells 11 News it is a testament to the power of hope.
There are three reasons Trey Lockley willingly went onto the battlefield. Their names are Shay, Reilly, and Brandy. They are his wife and two little girls.
"He loves his family so much, he went to Iraq not once but twice, to make sure we were well taken care of," said his wife Brandy.
In 2006, two months into his second deployment with the 2nd BCT, 2ID, Trey got hit. A sniper shot him in the head. Doctors told brandy it should have killed him.
"When I got [to the hospital], they told me to plan for his funeral and they said it did not look good," Brandy said.
Trey lived, in a coma, attached to machines that fed him and kept him breathing. For three and a half weeks, Brandy would whisper how much his family needed him until one day, her husband responded.
"Tears started flowing out of both of his eyes, and I knew he was there," Brandy said. "I knew he could hear me."
The next day, the darkness lifted.
"I came in, and they said, you're not going to believe it. He's awake," said Brandy
"Our doctor at Bethesda says I pretty much surpassed anything that he could expect," Trey told 11 News.
Trey Lockley, a wounded warrior, made it home. He is a miracle to his friends and family.
"It went through this part right here and exited this area right here," Trey said of the bullet that nearly killed him.
Doctors made a plastic cast of his skull shortly after his injury. A hole the size of a small dinner plate shows the area surgeons cut away as Trey's brain swelled. They have installed a titanium plate to protect his brain.
For months, Trey wore a cushioned helmet while he worked his way back from the edge.
"Not being able to talk," he said was one of the worst parts. He also had to regain movement in his arms and legs.
Trey has since earned the Purple Heart, standing proudly to accept the recognition. The journey back however, has rarely been easy.
"He actually tried to give up, several times," Brandy said.
Trey's inspiration were the people who he now can touch every day, the very people who never let him quit.
"You have to have hope in order to keep your loved one going," said Brandy.
Through days and months of rehabilitation, Trey has also become an inspiration himself.
"The head of hospital would always grab us and say we have a family you need to talk to," Brandy said.
Going through the worst made him one of the best visitors to other men and women in uniform struggling through their own injuries.
"I really wanted to talk to them and say hey, I made it, so can you," said Trey.
It is a long road to recovery. Trey still has trouble remembering things, and occasionally has seizures. It has taken three years of work for Trey to end up in a place his family thought they might never reach.
"I love being here," he said.
He survived his days in combat, and now, a wounded warrior is surrounded by those who he was fighting for.
Trey Lockley received much of his treatment from the same doctors who helped journalist Bob Woodruff, who also suffered a critical head injury while reporting from Iraq.
Trey was given a medical discharge from the army and now is trying to determine what is in store for his family. He would like to continue sharing his story with other servicemen and women recovering from their injuries and says he will always be proud of his days as an American soldier.