Injured Dubuque soldier's family healing - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Injured Dubuque soldier's family healing

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Spc. Cody Skahill is undergoing treatment at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas Spc. Cody Skahill is undergoing treatment at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas
EAST DUBUQUE, Ill. (KWWL) -

Two months ago, Cody Skahill, a Private First Class with the National Guard at the time, received an accidental gunshot wound to the chest from a fellow soldier.

The injury has left him paralyzed from the chest down.

"I pulled over once I got the phone call, and I just immediately started bawling," his sister Britini Skahill said.

She and their mother Jennifer Skahill met at their grandmother's East Dubuque, Ill. home this week and recalled that fateful day.

"When we first got the phone call, it was like, he was shot in the chest, and that's all we knew," Jennifer Skahill said.

Cody Skahill, since promoted to Specialist, received his gunshot wound through the negligent discharge of a weapon by one of his friends and fellow soldier.

"It's not like we're angry with him," Britini Skahill said. "We know it was an accident."

The bullet entered the right side of Skahill's chest, grazed his spine and exited the left side of his back, leaving him paralyzed from the chest down.

"He said, 'I knew I was going to Afghanistan. I thought to myself, I was either coming back or I wasn't coming back,'" his mom said. "He's like, 'I didn't know there was an in between.'"

"He could be paralyzed for the rest of his life, but we all still have that little bit of hope," his sister said.

A benefit on Saturday in Dubuque helped raise money for the family's hotel and meal expenses when traveling to see him.

"It was cool because we Skyped with him while we were there," Britini Skahill said.

Now, Spc. Cody Skahill faces a long road to recovery.

"He's optimistic. He has plans," his mother said.

Britini Skahill said she wants her brother to know, "I think he's the strongest person I've ever met and that I love him and that I think that he can pull through this fine, and it's making him into a better person."

Family members said Spc. Skahill has recently expressed interest in becoming a neurosurgeon, inspired by doctors at the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas.

They also said he wants to make it home for his 133rd National Guard unit's return later this summer.

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