Life-threatening condition deals setback to injured soldier

Justin Lansford

Justin Lansford

A life-threatening condition delayed injured soldier Justin Lansford’s return to the U.S. and sent him into another surgery.

The 22-year-old Brookwood grad, injured early Monday morning when his Army unit’s vehicle struck a roadside bomb, has developed Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS), which prevents enough oxygen from getting into the blood. He had fluid build-up in his lungs and a high temperature, prompting another exploratory surgery and postponing Friday’s scheduled flight to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.

Lansford’s parents are flying to Germany’s Landstuhl Regional Medical Center on Friday to be with their son. The military initially told them to wait in the U.S. since their son’s flight was planned for Friday.

“When I talked to them, it sounded pretty bad,” said Mike Basak, Justin’s uncle.

The Lansfords got the call about the ARDS in the 2 to 3 a.m. range, Basak said.

“He is working through (the ARDS), but it cancelled his transfer back to the states,” Rick Lansford, Justin’s father, said Friday morning. “They are now hoping for a Sunday flight and my wife and I are on our way to the airport for a flight to Germany to be at his side.”

Lansford was injured when he was driving a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle (commonly known as an MRAP) on a recovery mission to assist a unit with a broken-down vehicle. On the way to that stop, his vehicle struck a roadside bomb and sent it flying. Because of the severity of the ensuing fight, it took hours for Lansford to be removed from the situation.

Lansford is a 2007 graduate of Brookwood, where he played on the Broncos’ 2005 state runner-up team.

Return to www.gwinnettdailypost.com for updates on Lansford.