Injured Iowa marine back home recovering in Marion - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Injured Iowa marine back home recovering in Marion

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Three months into Marion-native Ryan McSweeny's first deployment, disaster struck.

"A sandstorm came in and we started hurrying.  Just stepped on an I.E.D," McSweeny said.

McSweeny was thrown from the resulting explosion.

His fellow marines kept him alive.  They gave him medical attention and didn't leave his side for the more than five hours that the sandstorm continued.

"My buddy was there holding my hand while the doctor put the rest of the tourniquets on," he said.

When the storm died down, McSweeny was airlifted to Germany.  That's when his friend called home to deliver the news.  McSweeny was in serious but stable condition.

"It's devastating.  It's something you don't want to ever go through," said Ryan's mother Kim McSweeny.

Doctors worried Ryan might lose his left leg.

For the first time, his family was able to visit weeks later at the naval hospital in Bethesda, Maryland.  McSweeny had just come out of a medically-induced coma.

After more than 15 surgical procedures on his leg, McSweeny continued to get better, his prognosis improving.

"He's a fighter.  Each day he made progress," Kim said.

Now almost four months after his injuries, McSweeny is back home, still in constant pain, and continuing ten hours a week of rehab.

Yet his biggest concern is not letting down those he fought side by side with in Afghanistan.

"My buddy's over there, all my brothers," he said.

McSweeny says he wants to back go Afghanistan.  A proud marine, and a family thankful to be reunited. 

McSweeny is expected to make a full recovery.

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